Judge Creed McGinley, after hearing motion to recuse the court on behalf of Zachary Adams’ attorney, ruled that there were no conflict of interest, and that he would remain on the case. “I wish I could say otherwise,” McGinley said, due to the notoriety of the case and the time that will be involved with the three trials.
The court went on to say that all the attorneys have been “encouraged from the first” to call him when scheduling conflicts arose, and that none of the communications fell within the category of ex parte communication. Judge McGinley also reiterated that he had also encouraged negotiations with the District Attorney’s office at every stage, and to use every means to expedite the case, including settlement if appropriate.
The judge also sustained his decision to remove Luke Evans from the Zachary Adams defense team. “In hindsight, Mr. Evans should have never been appointed through an ex parte motion,” McGinley said. The manner of the appointment did not give the DA’s office an opportunity to express their concerns. Evans had consulted with the Board of Professional Responsibility, but his position as attorney for deceased suspect Shayne Austin left some concerns with the District Attorney. Although Zachary Adams had signed a conflict of interest waiver, the DA maintained that if there was a conviction, there could still be a possible appeal.
Attorney for Jason Autry, indicated that they were considering a plea deal, and were excused from attending the next scheduled court date of March 1st.
The defense for Zachary Adams will appeal, but the court will remain on schedule, as Judge McGinley refrained from issuing a stay.
For more, be sure to see the February 8th edition of The Lexington Progress.