The lawyer representing a 39-year-old convicted felon accused of stalking D.C. Magistrate Judge Janet Albert, who is the defendant's ex-girlfriend, said at a status hearing today that he may not be appearing on behalf of his client much longer.
"Basically, my client has instructed me that she wishes me to withdraw," D.C. solo practitioner A. Kevin Fahey told Judge Russell Canan of D.C. Superior Court on Oct. 30.
But Canan said any action would have to wait until Monday, Nov. 2, as the defendant, Taylar Nuevelle, wasn’t present in court, the trial has been delayed a half-week already and more delays look imminent. After the hearing recessed, Fahey said he would continue representing his client until he could make a formal declaration.
The status hearing was called this afternoon after a medical emergency precluded Nuevelle from appearing in court on Wednesday when opening arguments were scheduled. At that time, Canan postponed the trial until Monday. But Fahey said today that the trial needs to be pushed back further while Nuevelle undergoes and then recovers from an urgent undisclosed medical treatment.
“I think she’s going to be unavailable [on Monday] because she’s going to be in prep,” he said. “Tuesday, she’s going to be heavily sedated because she is having two procedures.”
Judge Canan looked over notes from a doctor detailing Nuevelle’s situation, but found them insufficient to warrant another holdup. He tried to reach the doctor by phone—recessing the court for about an hour in the meantime—but was unable to connect with the physician.
“I really have no information to guide me as to whether this is urgent medically,” the judge said. “If she has indeed legitimate medical concerns, the court is going to honor those. This just hasn’t been shown to my satisfaction at this time.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Brenowitz expressed more pointed skepticism, saying the “latest information just furthers the government’s concerns that the defendant is trying to delay the trial again.”
The judge and the two lawyers agreed to stay in touch over the weekend in case anything develops.