Two defense attorneys who were fired from a murder case Thursday by a D.C. Superior Court judge who said they had been ineffective in representing their clients were reappointed to the same case yesterday by another judge.
Judge Eugene N. Hamilton directed that O.B. Parker and Robert Liotta continue with the case after determining that their respective clients were satisfied with the work the lawyers had done for them.
Hamilton also questioned the jurors in the case, which was interrupted Thursday when Judge Nicholas S. Nunzio declared a mistrial, to determine if they could impartially consider the evidence they board. The jurors had not heard Nunzio's criticism of the professional conduct of the lawyers.
Having satisfied himself that the jurors could continue to hear the case impartially, the judge set a haring for Monday to decide whether he can finish the trial that was started before judge Nunzio last Tuesday, or whether the case must be retried from the beginning.
On Thursday, Judge Nunzio abruptly granted defense requests that he declare a mistrail.He then took the unusual step of saying he was granting the motion because Parker and Liotta had been ineffective.
"You didn't try this case," Nunzio said. "My job is to see that they (the defendants) get a fair trial and in this case they did not get a fair trial because of your actions."
Since both had been appointed by the court as defense counsel under the Criminal Justice Act, the judge had also banned them from trying manjor criminal cases in his courtroom in the future.
Yesterday, the case was transferred to Judge Hamilton because Judge Nunzion reexcused himself.
Parker represents Gene Arthur (Buster) Braxton, 28. Liotta represents Darnell Lee Washington, 26. They and a third defendant - Calvin Lewis Braxton, 22, a brother of "Buster" Braxton - are accused of second-degre murder in the death of James Marshman, 39, a construction worker. Marshman was slashed and stabbed to death outside a construction worker. Marshman was slashed and stabbed to death outside a bar and grill at 9th and L Streets NW on the night of Oct. 10, 1975.
Judge Nunzio directed that Kenneth Trombly, Calvin Braxton's attorney, stay in the case at the time he declared the mistrial during the attorneys' final arguments to the jury.