LIMA — A Lima man who this summer declined a plea offer from prosecutors that could have shaved decades off any potential prison sentence he could receive upon conviction of pending kidnapping, firearm and robbery charges appeared in court again Thursday, this time to fire his lawyer.
Like other aspects in the case of Kiarris Laws, Thursday’s hearing was not without its glitches.
Lima Attorney Jerry Pitts, who had been retained by Laws to represent him, filed a motion late last month asking to withdraw from the case. In court Thursday, Pitts said the motion was filed at the request of his client.
“I feel like he hasn’t been doing his job,” Laws said before Allen County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Reed cut him off.
“You can hire any attorney you want; that’s your private business. Or I can appoint another lawyer to defend you,” Reed said.
But a member of Laws’ family who was seated in the courtroom said he believes Pitts is “capable or addressing matters that need to be addressed and should continue” at Laws’ attorney.
Reed granted Pitts’ motion to withdraw from the case and gave Laws a week to determine how he will proceed in terms of a defense lawyer.
Laws, 28, was indicted in January by an Allen County grand jury on one count of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification and a specification as a repeat offender, a first-degree felony. Other charges in the indictment were three counts of kidnapping, first-degree felonies with specifications for the use of firearms and for being a repeat offender; and one count of having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony.
According to court documents, Laws conspired with Marquavius Shurelds and Lamont Jones on Dec. 2, 2018, to rob Dequaisha Wilson and Alonzo Williams in an apartment in the 1500 block of Bradfield Drive, Lima. Wilson reportedly was forced inside the apartment by Shurelds, had her head covered with a blanket and was told she would be killed if she did not cooperate.
Also inside the apartment was Laws, who pointed guns at Williams and her infant child, according to court records.