Maurice Johnson's new judge ruled Friday that Johnson, the only
person convicted in the 1999 Valentine's Day triple slaying in
Cleveland, Tenn., also deserves new defense lawyers.
Special Judge Don Ash was named after Tennessee's Court of Criminal
Appeals ruled last year that Criminal Court Judge Amy Reedy should be
recused because her "impartiality might reasonably be questioned."
Ash, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., said the Bradley County public
defender's office has a conflict in the case and that he would appoint
new counsel for Johnson before the next scheduled hearing June 17.
"Not that you'd not do a good job," Ash told Public Defender Richard
Hughes and Assistant Public Defender Leon Shahan as they flanked Johnson
in court Friday.