Suspect in death seeks new lawyer
ST. JOHNSBURY — A Vermont man charged along with his wife in the killing of a popular St. Johnsbury teacher isn’t getting a new lawyer at the moment.
A judge initially dismissed Allen and Patricia Prue’s requests for new attorneys in May. Allen made a second request.
Prue and defense lawyer Dan Maguire said Thursday that Prue no longer communicates with Maguire, and that Maguire could be called as a witness against Patricia Prue.
The Prues have been charged with luring Melissa Jenkins out of her home last year and killing her before dumping her body in the Connecticut River. Both have pleaded not guilty, Allen Prue to first-degree murder; Patricia Prue to aggravated murder.
“I just don’t think Mr. Maguire can ethically do his duty anymore,” Allen Prue said. “I don’t see any way of going around this. I just completely refuse to talk to counsel anymore.”
Maguire said he agrees with Prue that he should withdraw, The Caledonian Record reported.
“It’s not something I take lightly,” he said.
The judge said Thursday that she wants more information and another hearing first. Judge Mary Miles Teachout said Allen Prue’s unwillingness to communicate with Maguire is not evidence enough that their attorney-client relationship had broken down to the point that a proper defense could not be offered. She also said she wasn’t sure there was a conflict of interest in Maguire’s possible role as a witness against Patricia Prue.
“It does not call into question Mr. Maguire’s ability to mount a defense. I don’t see a conflict,” she said.