State v. StovallAnnotate this Case
After Defendant was charged with rape and other crimes, the district court appointed an attorney from the public defender's office to represent Defendant. The appointed attorney subsequently filed three motions to withdraw as Defendant's counsel. The first two motions were due to conflicts of interest. The district court forced defense counsel to represent Defendant at trial, after which the attorney/client relationship deteriorated to the point that all communication ceased. After the jury convicted Defendant of all charges but before sentencing, defense counsel filed a third motion to withdraw on the ground of prejudice and bias. The district court ordered the conflicted attorney to continue representing Defendant. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court's complete disregard for Defendant's right to effective assistance of counsel during his criminal prosecution was reversible error. Remanded.