Private counsel for a Morrilton teen recently charged with capital murder has been relieved from the case.
Sierra Cook, 18, originally charged with hindering the apprehension of Lee Foster, a capital murder suspect, was charged with the offense herself Sept. 24.
The charges stem from a fatal Father’s Day double-shooting at Motel 6 in Conway. The shooting left Quenton Alexander, 23, dead, and one other person injured.
Cook was previously represented by two attorneys, including Frank Shaw, however, the two attorneys were relieved from the case Monday afternoon. Cook will now be represented by public defenders.
Deputy Public Defender Karen Walker-Knight said contact had been made with the Arkansas Public Defender Commission, but no decision on possible counsel has been made.
If convicted of capital murder, a class Y felony, Cook would face death or life in prison.
To this point, the prosecution has not waived the death penalty.
The Arkansas Public Defender Commission’s minimum standards, among other requirements, states the lead counsel must have prior experience in a case in which the death penalty was sought.
The minimum standards also state that two “qualified attorneys” will be assigned to the defendant.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Carol Crews, standing in for fellow Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Troy Braswell, said the discovery has been completed in the case.
Cook’s next pretrial hearing was set for Oct. 30, the same day as Foster’s next appearance.
At Foster’s previous hearing, Braswell said the prosecution should have a decision on whether or not it will seek the death penalty.
Foster, represented by Teri Chambers and Joe Tobler from the commission, is also charged with first-degree battery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a certain person for his alleged involvement in the fatal shooting June 16.
Officers responded to the motel around 1:30 a.m. on Father’s Day, and found Alexander shot to death in the parking lot.
Police said Foster and Alexander were related, and had been in an ongoing feud.
Foster and Cook were arrested in Morrilton on June 20.