My friend is currently embroiled in a federal conspiracy
drug case and is in custody awaiting a trial
in July. The lawyer his parents hired for him last December admitted he doesn't even know the name of the prosecutor who is handling his case. He also told my friend last week that he forgot that the prosecution offered my friend a plea agreement
in January, but it is just a general agreement they are offering to all 11 people who are involved.
The FBI told my friend and his parents that my friend was on the very fringe of that group. My friend has completed a 12-step program in jail and he needs someone to represent him and act as a go-between him and the prosecution, since his first lawyer never even once talked to the prosecutor. There is plenty of evidence (text messages, voicemails, etc.) that shows he wasn't part of that group of 11 and in fact was in another state during 90% of the investigation
. He doesn't even know and has never met any of the people involved, except for one.
We realize it's too late in the game to switch lawyers, but since his lawyer has done nothing on his behalf, he has agreed to petition the court
to have himself removed from the case. However, if that does happen, is it going to be difficult to find a new lawyer willing to take this case since it's so late in the game? The trial is scheduled for the end of July.
Should he just forget about it all and just sign the agreement (which is ten years in prison) or should he pursue getting a new lawyer who is willing to negotiate with the prosecutor and point out in transcripts and text messaging that shows my friend is "on the very fringe" of the case, as the FBI pointed out?
It's disheartening because we believed that his lawyer was already doing those things during the last six months, but by his own admission, he doesn't even know the name of the prosecutor nor has he gone over ANY of the evidence. I think a public defender would have done at least that much?
Sorry so wordy here. Just need some advice on what he should do from here. I'm afraid he may never come out of prison alive, as he is HIV +. It's a horrible horrible mess and we simply don't know what to do about it. Thanks very much.