Friday, August 24, 2007


Suspect, Second Attorney Want to Part Ways

The woman accused of being the "D.C. madam" and her court-appointed attorney want to go their separate ways, according to papers filed yesterday. Deborah Jeane Palfrey says they have "irreconcilable differences" that make it impossible for him to properly defend her against charges of running a prostitution ring.

It's the second lawyer that Palfrey says she can't abide, after asking in the spring to have veteran public defender A.J. Kramer removed as her attorney. Her current counsel, Preston Burton, recently filed a motion under seal explaining why he wants to withdraw from the case.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler agreed to keep the arguments for a split under wraps, saying that she wants to protect Palfrey's privacy and avoid prejudicing her defense.

Palfrey, of California, is accused of running a prostitution ring that serviced upscale clients in the Washington area for 13 years. She has said that she was operating a legitimate escort service that provided fantasies for its male customers but not sex.

Burton declined to comment yesterday on the reasons for wanting to part with Palfrey. Palfrey said in her motion that she wants to be represented by her longtime civil attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley. Kessler had not decided whether to approve the change.

-- Carol D. Leonnig


Three Men Killed in Two Shooting Incidents

D.C. police are investigating three homicides that have occurred since Wednesday night in Northeast Washington.

Police said they were called about 8:50 p.m. Wednesday to a shooting at 17th Street and Benning Road, where they found Melvin Watson, 37, of the 1600 block of K Street. He had been shot a number of times. Then, two men were killed in a shooting at 4 a.m. yesterday in the 400 block of Xenia Street, police said. Their names were not released.

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