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Public Defenders

Client Decks Counsel, Gets New Lawyer

Posted Feb 6, 2008 11:54 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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An unhappy client punched his legal counsel in a Kentucky courtroom Monday, saying that he wanted new representation.

And Scott Hafer got his wish after punching public defender Doug Crickmer in the jaw and sending him to the floor in an incident that was recorded by a courtroom camera in Scott County, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. Crickmer sustained a black eye and a facial cut and soreness, but he is otherwise all right.

Hafer, 30, who is accused of stealing jewelry worth $51,000 from a local Kmart with the help of an accomplice, will now be represented by a private defense attorney arranged for by the public defender's office.

The blow, meanwhile, gained for Crickmer his 15 minutes of fame, the newspaper reports: He is to be interviewed at the courthouse tomorrow by NBC's Today Show.

The 10-year public defender says he bears no grudge against Hafer, who reportedly will not be charged concerning the incident. Stressed out by the situation, Hafer just snapped, according to his now-former defense counsel. "I don't feel any ill will toward him; in fact, I understand his situation very much," Crickmer says.

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