Niagara Gazette

Courts

October 2, 2013

Redden claims he has a new lawyer, but attorney fails to show up for hearing

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — Cornelius Redden III insists that he has “fired” his public defender and hired a new lawyer.

The only hitch for the Falls gangbanger is that the new attorney still hasn’t shown up at the Niagara County courthouse.

Redden was in court Tuesday and assured Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas that he had retained a new defense lawyer, but that she was “unable to be here today.” The Falls teen, with a lengthy and violent criminal history, did not disclose the name of his new attorney, but Farkas did give him one more postponement to get the mystery lawyer to the courthouse.

The judge has been waiting for a new attorney, to replace Redden’s court-appointment public defender, before sentencing him to up to eight years in prison for his guilty plea to assault, weapons and drug charges.

In a motion, filed on the same day he took a deal from prosecutors in August, Redden asked Farkas to allow him to withdraw his plea to charges of attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree assault and attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Redden, 18, has had more than a month to find a new lawyer and to determine if that new attorney would be willing to continue with his attempt to withdraw his pleas.

A known street gang member, who has a history of violence and drug-related arrests dating back to his  early teens, Redden had accepted the plea deal to close three pending cases against him. The attempted drug possession charge he originally agreed to was tied to an October bust that caught him with a significant quantity of crack cocaine.

The assault charge was tied to a May 10 shooting of a rival drug dealer and the weapons charge stemmed from a June 2 incident where he accidentally shot himself.

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