Pasco, Wash. – A Franklin County judge will appoint a new lawyer for a man accused of identity theft.
Prosecutors say Clinton Crowder befriended a man with cancer, and then cleaned out the man's bank account while the man was in the hospital.
Crowder became the focus of the trial of Todd Stuart last month when he testified that while in county jail Stuart described to him a plot to kill Stuart's mother-in law.
A jury acquitted Stuart of conspiracy and attempted murder.
Crowder claims his current attorney plotted to hire a hit man to kill him. Public defender Matt Rutt agreed the change of attorneys is necessary. "Due to Mr. Crowder's mental health condition, he has become very hostile to the point where I can no longer effectively represent him."
During the Stuart trial, in which Crowder testified for the prosecution, the defense raised questions about Crowder's mental state. A doctor at Eastern State Hospital diagnosed Crowder with antisocial personality disorder.
Judge Craig Matheson delayed Crowder's trial until he appoints the new attorney.