Saline teen accused of robbing drug dealer will get new lawyer
Citing a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship, the teenager accused of robbing a Saline drug dealer of marijuana in July will be getting a new lawyer.
James Brewer, 17, is facing two counts each of armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon for a July 26 incident at the Six Trails Apartment Complex in Saline. According to police, Brewer and three other men robbed and assaulted a man who was expecting to sell marijuana to Emily Beach, 16, who also is charged in the incident.
Washtenaw County Assistant Public Defender Christopher Renna had been representing Brewer since his arraignement. Renna asked Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge David Swartz to grant a motion to withdraw from the case Thursday. Swartz granted the motion and appointed the Julian Law Firm to represent Brewer.
Brewer had been scheduled to go to trial at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 27, but Swartz canceled that date in order to give his new attorney time to research the case. Brewer will be back in court at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 26 for a pretrial hearing.
According to police, Beach set up a drug deal at the apartment complex. When the dealer received a call from her, he went outside to wait and was approached by four men, one of whom was allegedly Brewer.
One of the men punched him in the head and searched through his pockets while another man stood near him and pointed a gun at him, along with his girlfriend and her mother when they came to see what was happening. Witnesses said at a preliminary exam that Brewer was not the man with the gun.
Beach faces two counts each of armed robbery and unarmed robbery for allegedly setting up the deal. She was never seen at the apartment complex, according to police and witnesses.
If convicted, both Beach and Brewer could face a maximum of life in prison.
Police have stated that it is unlikely the dealer will be charged in the case.