A man accused of shooting and killing someone in July will be allowed to get a new public defender, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Alex Eggleston, 27, is charged with murder in the death of Vance Neset. Police say Eggleston shot and killed Neset on July 14 in the parking lot of the Super 8 motel. According to charging documents in the case, Eggleston approached Neset and another man and asked them for alcohol and cigarettes. When they asked him to leave them alone he left, then returned with a pistol and shot Neset, police and prosecutors claim.
In a brief hearing Tuesday, Northwest District Judge Josh Rustad agreed to allow Daniel Borgen, the lawyer who had been appointed to represent Eggleston in the case, to withdraw.
In a motion filed last week, Borgen said Eggleston had demanded a new lawyer.
“Mr. Eggleston does not feel comfortable with my continued representation as his attorney,” Borgen wrote. “Mr. Eggleston does not feel that my continued representation of him is in his best interest.”
In court Tuesday, Eggleston confirmed to Rustad that he did want a new lawyer and that the attorney-client relationship had broken down. Neither he nor Borgen elaborated on what had caused the rift.
Nathan Madden, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, said his office didn’t oppose the request, but he wanted the hearing so Eggleston could be informed that if he wants another new lawyer the court might not accept that.
“I just want to nip this in the bud so we’re not here in another six months and Mr. Eggleston wants another new attorney,” Madden said.
Rustad asked numerous questions of Eggleston throughout the proceeding, particularly about whether he understood that the right to court-appointed counsel is not unlimited.
“There’s no guarantee you’ll be able” to request another new attorney, Rustad said.
Eggleston said he understood.
Borgen said Eggleston has already been approved for a new lawyer by the state public defender’s office.
Eggleston’s trial had been set to begin April 8, but will be reset once a new attorney is assigned.