Easthampton murder suspect can’t get new lawyer

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A judge has rejected a motion by a western Massachusetts man charged with killing his girlfriend to fire his court-appointed lawyer.

Ryan Welch said in his motion that John Morris has declined to assist him adequately, acted in complicity with prosecutors and put him in fear.

Welch said during a hearing Thursday that he fears Morris more “than probably any other human being I’ve ever been in contact with.”

The judge told Welch that mere dissatisfaction with a court-appointed lawyer does not automatically entitle him to a new attorney as long as the lawyer meets the criteria to defend their client.

The 38-year-old Welch has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the February 2012 stabbing death of Jessica Ann Pripstein. He has already fired one attorney.

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