Can a DA be a court appointed attorney for a defendant he is prosecuting?
This is in reference to the prosecutor in a felony theft and identity theft case where 3 individuals are facing charges for the same crime. One of the defendants had her fist court appearance following her release on bond and was approached by the D.A. who asked her if she had a lawyer. After stating that she planned to ask the court for one, he, the DA, asked her if he could act as her public defender and she said yes. He then offered her an adult diversion sentence if she would answer some questions he had and those of another court investigator. For the next 2 hours she was grilled again about the circumstances and actions of the crime.
(The 3 co-defendants where a local casino and in the parking garage and took a purse from an open trunk.)
She spoke only about her part of the crime, and what she did, but wouldn't say anything about what the boys (2 co-defendants) had done before, during and after taking the purse. She repeatedly told them "DON'T KNOW ASK THEM". The two questioning continued to tell her to tell the truth and help them out or she would go to prison for at least 2 years. She admitted to taking the purse, and that the boys took the phone and iPod. She admitted that she attempted to use a credit card 3 times and that she swiped the card at a store for purchases less than $500.00 dollars the other 2 times the card was declined.
The judge declined her 2 co-defendants release from jail or a bond reduction for further investigation and set a continuance for 20 days. The DA told her his offer of the diversion sentence was on hold until the next court date. She had until then to tell on the boys and if not, she'd get the maximum sentence plus be charged with any and all crimes that were discovered in the investigation along with her co-defendants. This is her first offense and both the other two have records and cases pending or being served.
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