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Former cheer coach getting new attorney

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Former Pulaski County High School cheerleading coach Angelia Paige Harrell agreed Friday that the relationship between herself and her attorney has broken down to the point she needs a new lawyer.

James C. Turk Jr. has represented Harrell since she was indicted in September 2012. She is charged with three counts of using her position as a public official to embezzle funds from the cheerleading program for her personal use.

However, Turk filed a Motion to Withdraw from the case Nov. 26. He contends the attorney/client relationship has “broken down,” that he feels there is no way to repair it, and that he “cannot be impartial towards his representation” of Harrell.

Harrell told Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Long Jr. that she has already spoken with another attorney and should know early this week weather he will represent her. He instructed her to be back in court Dec. 20 unless her new attorney sends a letter to the court confirming his representation.

The judge also advised Harrell that the delay will be “charged” to the defense so that the commonwealth’s case isn’t impacted by requirements for a defendant’s right to a speedy trial. Harrell told him she understands.

The incidents for which Harrell is charged are alleged to have occurred between March 2010 and October 2011. Besides being head coach of the varsity cheerleading squad she also was a guidance counselor at the high school.

Special prosecutor Erin DeHart, commonwealth’s attorney for Bland County, did not object to the change in attorneys.

Comments

comments

30 Responses to Former cheer coach getting new attorney

  1. LT

    December 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

    And another round of cancellations. “Speedy trial” what a joke. As usual, it’s who you know….

  2. Andy Hullender

    December 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    This thing is getting to the point that I wonder if it will ever go to trial.

  3. chester07

    December 10, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Just another way to get through the holidays. LT you are correct.

  4. MT

    December 10, 2013 at 3:38 am

    This is insane.Is she still getting paid her salary by PCHS ?Is it even legal for this to go on this long in any or other Towns and Counties in VA…Maybe in another year or two she will be tried.Maybe the Town and County should just appoint her a lawyer of their choice and get this over with if possible.She needs to go on trial ASAP.I don’t know the law but I know that not just anybody could get by with this for so long.Like LT said.I guess it’s who you know..

  5. Anonymous

    December 10, 2013 at 8:45 am

    She doesn’t want a speedy trial. Buying time is all that is going on…

  6. Va Girl

    December 10, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Reason her defense attorney is dropping the case says it all:

    “He contends the attorney/client relationship has “broken down,” that he feels there is no way to repair it, AND THAT HE “CANNOT BE IMPARTIAL towards his representation” of Harrell.”

    Did I read correctly? A DEFENSE attorney believes he cannot defend her impartially? Am I also reading correctly he cannot get along with Harrell?

    Defense attorneys defend the likes of child molesters, murders, thieves, spouse abusers, drug dealers…but for some reason Harrell is someone he cannot maintain a relationship or be impartial for. Just freaking WOW! I cannot imagine how difficult Harrell must be, or how overwhelming the evidence against her must be for that to occur. Crikey!!

  7. MR

    December 10, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Yeah, wouldn’t everyone like to know what the break down was with her former lawyer. This is ridiculous and embarrassing for our community. Her crimes were against children (yeah, I know they are teenagers) but still. Enough already! This should have been taken care of by now! This winch will not see anything come out of this. It will just go away. The only reason anyone knows what is going on is because the newspaper keeps up with it. Keep smiling your fake smile Angie, hopefully one day Karma will finally get you!

  8. Elizabeth C.

    December 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Agreed, LT & VA Girl. I thought the same thing about what Turk does as a defense attorney. He has defended the scum, the athletes with the IQ of a rock, and some dumb idiots who just got caught breaking laws. How is it that this supposed Guidance Counselor has created an untenable position with her attorney? She must not have any skills as a counselor which makes the parents previous comments believable. Also, Harrell has had to pay something to Turk to defend her thus far. It costs money to drive a Porsche around the streets of the NRV after all. Turk is not cheap and for her to walk away to start over appears to be something rotten going on.

    • Va Girl

      December 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Yup, something rotten is going on, and this time I doubt we can point to the defense attorney! (that’s a switch)

  9. Billy J

    December 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I’m not going to comment on her guilt or innocence, but I do know enough to see that the majority of you folks no nothing about the criminal justice system. The typical felony case takes between 1 and 2 years to finish. That is just a fact. Her case is now about 1 year 3 months since she was charged. Go look at other cases. There is nothing unusual here. Secondly, the right to a speedy trial is a right of the defendant, not the state. So if she does not want to enforce her speedy trial rights, she doesn’t have to. Finally, she is not and has not been paid as a teacher/guidance counselor since she was charged. So those of you speculating and whining about that are wrong as well. If you want trials to be concluded in quickly, in a few weeks or months, then we will have to hire hundreds or perhaps thousands of new prosecutors, judges, probation officers, not to mention build new prisons. So I guess each of you whiners and complainers wont mind your individual taxes increasing several thousand dollars per year to pay to prevent all the supposed “special treatment” she is receiving. Just shut up and let the case play itself out naturally like all other cases.

    • Va Girl

      December 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      Mr. Harrell?? Or the new defense attorney?

    • MR

      December 11, 2013 at 7:44 am

      That is why other cases of embezzlement was in court in 6 months or so, right? And they didn’t involve students! Just saying. And she had other lawyers and for one reason or another their “relationship” didn’t work! Apparently you were not one of the parents who had to do her job so their student could get into the college of their choice or one who had to email/ call her daily asking where YOUR money or product that you paid for was. I believe in Karma and it is time that Angie gets it. I am just stating my opinion.

  10. LT

    December 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Billy I really don’t care about timing of a trial, can’t comment on guilty or not guilty, and paying her salary would be an injustice so for the people of Pulaski County struggling with low or no paychecks, I hope she is not being paid. I also know she has wonderful parents dealing with this “mistake” she has made. But I also know the disillusioned young ladies cheated after the hard work they do. But I agree on the time frame. Most cases in America do take an average of over a year to go to court. Just there is the concern it will get lost in the cracks as happens. I know too it can be who you know and who has lunch together and who has a beer together a lot of times. No different than DC politics and who pays the most donations and gets the most favors. All goes hand in hand.

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