Mitchell woman charged with attack on officer requests new lawyerA Mitchell woman accused of striking a police officer in the face with a feminine hygiene product has requested a new court-appointed attorney.
By: Austin Kaus, The Daily Republic
A Mitchell woman accused of striking a police officer in the face with a feminine hygiene product has requested a new court-appointed attorney.
Ada Morales, 41, pleaded not guilty in May to two charges of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer and one count each of resisting arrest, obstructing a police officer and intentionally causing contact with bodily fluids.
Morales is accused of allegedly throwing a soiled feminine hygiene product in the face of a police officer during a response to a mental illness call.
She also allegedly sprayed the officer with various cleaning items and knocked off another officer’s glasses while scratching him.
Morales sent a letter to Judge Sean O’Brien last month requested that Philip Carlson be removed as her court-appointed attorney because of her concerns about his performance.
In a letter discussed during Morales’ court appearance Wednesday at the Davison County Public Safety Center, Morales expressed concerns about Carlson’s experience and professionalism.
“I also feel that he does not completely believe me and I have confronted him about this on several occasions, at which point, Mr. Carlson becomes defensive,” Morales wrote. “He is more worried about trying to not get me to sue the city than to defend me in my case.”
Carlson, who was sworn in as a new Mitchell City Council member Tuesday night, made no statement in court in response but said he would be willing to answer any questions the court might pose to him. He also said he is willing to continue to represent Morales.
In her letter, Morales requested that Matt Theophilus, a Watertown attorney, be appointed to her case.
Davison County State’s Attorney Pat Smith said he believed Morales is entitled to the counsel of her choosing, but added that the court has a contract with Carlson’s firm for court-appointed work. Smith also believes Carlson is a competent attorney.
O’Brien echoed Smith’s sentiments.
“(Carlson) will listen very much to your concerns and he will do the best that he can in representing you,” O’Brien said. “For those reasons, I’ll continue Mr. Carlson in this capacity as your attorney unless you want to hire your own attorney.”
Morales said she would indeed hire her own attorney.
“My freedom is not a game,” Morales said Tuesday. “I want to have a lawyer I can trust.”
Morales’ trial is scheduled for October.