Murder suspect gets a new lawyer

LISBON — Terry A. Brown, the Wellsville man who pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in the death of Scottie Johnson, but who recently requested to be allowed to withdraw that guilty plea, has now been granted a new attorney.

Brown, 48, Hillcrest Road, Wellsville, asked his defense attorney Jennifer Gorby during the holidays to file a motion to withdraw his guilty pleas to several charges regarding the murder. The actual motion to withdraw his plea was filed a day prior to his sentencing on Friday, Jan. 5.

During the hearing where Brown was initially to be sentenced last Friday, Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge C. Ashley Pike asked Gorby to submit to the court Brown’s written reasons for wanting to withdraw his guilty pleas.

Gorby filed the reasons on Tuesday and then filed a motion requesting to be allowed to withdraw as Brown’s attorney. According to Gorby’s motion, Brown had stated his reasons were because he believes he was not able to review his discovery enough and felt pressured into taking the plea in the case.

Because of the actual reasons, Gorby said she believes continuing as Brown’s attorney would create a conflict of interest, which leaves her no longer able to represent him. Pike agreed and assigned defense attorney James Wise to handle further proceedings in Brown’s case.

A Jan. 19 hearing is currently scheduled in regards to Brown’s motion to withdraw the guilty pleas. However, Wise has already filed a motion asking for that hearing to be postponed because he needs time to become acquainted with the case and has a previously scheduled hearing in Trumbull County on Jan. 19.

Brown pleaded guilty on Oct. 24 to aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence in the shooting death and dismemberment of Johnson’s body, which was found outside Brown’s home on a burn pile last March.