A man facing a murder charge in Grayson County spent part of Monday discussing his attorney with the judge. Judge Larry Phillips asked Christopher Harrell what kinds of issues he is having with his attorney Tim Brown.
Harrell is accused of killing his neighbor Michael Lindsey in October.
In a news release from the time of the incident, Sherman Police Department Lt. D.M. Hampton said Harrell and Lindsey had been neighbors and Harrell was stopped, the same week that Lindsey’s daughter reported him missing, in Lindsey’s truck. Harrell then, Hampton said, identified himself as Lindsey and produced Lindsey’s driver’s license. The officer who stopped Harrell took him at his word and released him.
“After they broke contact, the officer did a little bit more digging and then was able to get a hold of a family member to see if that was indeed the father and she said it was not,” Hampton said.
Harrell was arrested on a forgery of financial information charge. He was later indicted on a murder charge and is being held on $1 million bond on that issue. But the forgery charge, Brown said, still has not been indicted even though his client has been in jail more than 180 days. He asked that the charge either be thrown out or that a bond be set on it.
Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Britton Brooks said he wasn’t planning on throwing out the charge. He said the county intends to seek an indictment on that charge.
With that matter out of the way, Phillips turned his attention to a request by Harrell to talk about his issues with his attorney. Harrell was late last week and had mentioned a type of complaint that he had about his attorney, but that complaint had to do with California, and not Texas law. Still, the attorney, and the judge knew that asking for that type of relief meant Harrell wanted to discuss issues with his attorney. So, Phillips explained Monday, he had Harrell brought back before the court so they could get to the bottom of the situation.
Then they tried to talk about what the problem was without talking about anything that might be covered under attorney-client privilege.
It was a circular conversation.
At one point Harrell said he isn’t trying to get Brown removed from the case. However, Harrell said he feels Brown would get in his way. Then Harrell said he couldn’t do everything, like file motions for his defense, by himself. Phillips explained that filing motions is Brown’s job in the case.
Harrell then said he is afraid that Brown won’t let him speak about everything that he wants to speak about in the case. Phillips encouraged Harrell and Brown to continue to communicate with each other and work together on the case.
The trial, Harrell told Phillips, is about Mr. Lindsey, his family and then Harrell.
There was also some discussion of Harrell’s competency during the hearing. Brooks said that issue had come up at the hearing last week. Brooks said Brown had asked to have Harrell examined for competency but Harrell said he is competent.
The case was set for trial later this month, but that setting has been canceled and no new court date is listed on the file.