Judge rules Doug Lovell's attorney will stay for 2014 murder trial
After arguing that his relationship with his court-appointed attorney was beyond repair, Doug Lovell will retain the same counsel, after all, a judge ruled Monday.
Lovell first aired his grievances against attorney Mike Bouwhuis on Aug. 1 in a letter to 2nd District Judge Michael Lyon.
At a hearing on Aug. 9, Lovell refused to discuss details of the conflict, but Bouwhuis disclosed he and Lovell disagreed on the course of action to take after the court in May denied Lovell's request for a new judge in what will be his second trial for the 1985 murder of 39-year-old Joyce Yost.
At the August hearing, Lyon ordered Bouwhuis to visit Lovell at the prison for a meeting to resolve their differences. However, Lovell has continued to argue in letters written to Lyon and to the Utah Supreme Court that he wishes to have another lead attorney assigned.
"[Bouwhuis] does not represent me," Lovell wrote to Lyon in late August. "He does not represent my interests; therefore, my objectives cannot be met. I do not trust him!"
Lyon denied the motion Monday, but the specifics of ruling have been sealed in court documents.
Lovell, 54, pleaded guilty in 1993 to murdering Yost to prevent her from testifying against him in a rape and kidnapping case, and he was sentenced to death. However, the Utah Supreme Court in 2010 ruled that he could withdraw the guilty plea because he should have been better informed of his rights during court proceedings.
The ruling overturned a decision by Lyon that the guilty plea should stand, and Lovell's defenders argued that the case should be removed from Lyon's hands. Another judge ruled in May that the case should remain under Lyon, and Lovell and Bouwhuis then disagreed on how to proceed.
Lyon scheduled Lovell's new trial for February 2014 nearly 29 years after Yost's murder.