World & Nation
AP The Wire
Comics & Games
Home & Garden
Advertise with the Times
CCR: Lawyer did a bad job in serial killer case
By CHASE SQUIRES
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 18, 2000
DADE CITY -- Prosecutor Phil Van Allen agreed Monday that serial killer Aileen Wuornos' choice of a defense attorney was unusual, but he said it was her decision to make, she made it and it shouldn't get her a new trial.
The state's capital collateral office, representing Wuornos, told a judge Monday her attorney did a rotten job of defending her in Pasco and other counties. Now, facing six death sentences for her highway killings in 1989 and 1990, Wuornos deserves new trials, her state-appointed defense team argued at a hearing to determine if she needs a full-blown hearing with witnesses and testimony.
"Essentially, she had no representation," CCR attorney Joseph Hobson said Monday.
Hobson said he can't imagine how Wuornos could lose in her bid for a larger hearing. Circuit Judge Wayne Cobb said he will decide within two weeks.
In Monday's hearing, Hobson complained Wuornos' attorney, Steven Glazer, had virtually no experience, did little or no preparation or investigation and negotiated cash side deals with media outlets for interviews. Hobson said Glazer also was filmed for a British documentary smoking marijuana on the way to see Wuornos in prison, and he admitted smoking the drug in his deposition.
"His idea of consulting with other lawyers was to go to happy hour at a Gainesville bar and in passing discuss the case," Hobson said.
In his deposition, Glazer said Wuornos' was his first death penalty case and his 12th or 13th felony case. He also said he took $10,000 on Wuornos' behalf to arrange an interview, and Wuornos gave him $2,500 of that.
"This is not to say in a public forum that Mr. Glazer is a bad man. He is not," Hobson said. "He's a cheerful soul."
Glazer's telephone number at the time of Wuornos' convictions spelled "Dr. Legal." His office answering machine last week greeted callers with the Beatles' song Help and advised callers if they're looking for help, they've found the right place.
Glazer did not put up a defense or go to trial with Wuornos' case in Pasco County, when she was charged with murdering Charles Carskaddon. Instead, under her orders, he entered a guilty plea. She was sentenced to death.
Hobson said Glazer referred to himself as a "legal Jack Kevorkian," aiding his client in her pursuit of a quick execution.
Van Allen said it was clear Wuornos was on a mission of self-destruction, but Glazer violated no rules by doing his client's bidding.
"I'm positive I don't agree with his antics. I'm positive I don't agree with his lifestyle and I'm positive I wouldn't go out and hire him to represent me," Van Allen told the judge. "But he did exactly what she wanted him to do."
Hobson on Friday canceled an order to have Wuornos brought up from her South Florida prison cell for the hearing. Glazer was also absent at Monday's hearing, but Hobson said he plans to call on him for testimony if Cobb agrees to hold a hearing with witnesses.
Hobson said he plans to challenge Glazer's work in Marion and Dixie counties soon.
© St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.