By Kayla Carter
One of two people charged in the 2012 death of Lonnie Townsend has a new attorney after her public defender was allowed to withdraw.
A conflict of interest was cited during a pre-trial motions hearing Thursday in Carter County Circuit Court as Assistant Public Defender David Crichton’s reason to no longer represent Whitney Kristina Harris.
“Because of this conflict of interest, and your attorney is ethically bound not to divulge their reasons on the record, the court will allow the public defender’s office to withdraw,” Judge Stacy L. Street told Harris.
Attorney Gene Scott agreed to represent Harris, who along with Timothy Jason Pate pleaded not guilty last year to charges of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in Townsend’s death.
“He has vast experience in major felony cases up to and including first-degree murder,” Street said.