LIMA — A Lima man charged with gang-related felonies that could land him in prison for decades appeared in court Friday with the intent of firing his attorney.
Not so fast, the judge overseeing the case told Jamaree Allen.
Allen was indicted by a grand jury on charges of participating in a criminal gang with a firearm specification; two counts of felonious assault with firearm and criminal gang activity specifications; two counts of discharging a firearm into a habitation; carrying a concealed weapon; and improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle and having weapons under disability.
His co-defendant, Eric Adams, faces identical charges in the case.
Two days short of his 25th birthday, Allen appeared Friday before Judge Terri Kohlrieser to ask that his court-appointed attorney, Carroll Creighton, be removed from the case. Allen claimed there has been a “complete breakdown” in communications between the two men.
Telling Allen, however, that the constitution “does not guarantee you will like your attorney,” Kohlrieser refused to appoint a new defense counsel at the present time. The judge said that with three months remaining until trial, there is adequate time for the defendant and his lawyer to get on the same page.
The charges against Allen are related to gunshots discharged near the intersection of North Cole Street and Edgewood Drive in Lima on June 21, shortly after a funeral service for 19-year-old Christian Laws had concluded in the 1800 block of North Cole Street. Laws was shot and killed June 14 in the 2400 block of Lark Avenue. Jolade Omosikeji Jr. has been charged with murder in Laws’ death.
After interviewing witnesses, police determined that Allen and Adams exited a vehicle in front of Wally’s Fillin’ Station and started firing their weapons at Romelo Blackman, who was known by authorities through his “ties to an individual wanted for the homicide of Christian Laws.”
Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick said at the time of the indictments that his office elected to pursue charges of participating in gang activity and additional criminal gang activity specifications against Allen and Wilson to send a message that violent gun crimes will not be tolerated.