High profile criminal defense attorneys in Jacksonville Florida are fighting over who gets to represent young Cristian Fernandez. Cristian is 13 and charged with homicide for the killing of his two-year old brother. He is also charged as an adult. Apparently this is a big case in the Southeast. Every attorney and his brother wants this one.
What’s interesting about this case is that even the public defender who is assigned to the case wants to stay on. Public Defender Matt Shirk is stating that he has developed a good relationship with young Cristian and he feels that the private attorneys will not be able to handle the case as well as he.
Recently there was a hearing where all the attorneys got in front of the presiding judge to argue why they should be assigned to the case. This is a weird one.
In my years as a criminal defense attorney, I have rarely seen a public defender fight to keep a case. But, this murder case isn’t like others. Charged as an adult and only 13, the case is pushing the boundaries of propriety. It is rare for a case like this to see an adult court. The private criminal attorneys know it and they want to gain some notoriety from it.
I think that it is so obvious that the adult court is not the right setting for this defendant. Cristian has a guardian. This guardian is making decisions for him with regards to the choice of his attorney. If the youngster needs a guardian to pick his lawyer, why is he being charged as an adult.
Posted by criminal defense attorney Nick Alcock