Attorney cites conflict in asking for split cases

Public defender says suspects need their own lawyers.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:17 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Public defender Michael Hamilton told the Audrain County Court on Friday that there is a conflict of interest in his representing all three people charged in connection with the killing of Mexico restaurant owner Komninos “Gus” Karellas.

Quinton Canton Jr., 17, and Lance Berry, 17, were each charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action. They are being held without bond at the Audrain County jail.

Canton’s mother, Donna Doyal, 39, was charged with four counts of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of hindering prosecution. She is being held on $250,000 bond at the Audrain County jail.

All three requested representation from the public defender at their arraignment on Thursday.

“If death is involved, you want people to have their own attorney, because you could have the situation where one would want to testify against the other,” Hamilton said.

If they do not find their own representation, the state will have to appoint public defenders from out of town to represent the defendants, Hamilton said.

A court hearing where counsel will be determined is set for 3 p.m. Dec. 10, but Hamilton said they should know within the next few days which attorney will defend whom.

Meanwhile, director Michael Jerichow of the Mexico Department of Public Safety said the police force is continuing to investigate the Nov. 16 killing and robbery at the G & D Steakhouse.

“We still have some loose-end leads to follow-up on,” Jerichow said.

The Mid-Missouri Case Squad disbanded Thursday, leaving further investigation to Mexico police.

Fifteen area agencies including the Columbia Police Department, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and MU’s campus police were involved in the squad. Altogether the squad investigated 70 leads during the two days it was assigned to the case.

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