Escorted by his mother and grandfather, the 24-year-old former Auburn University safety made his way inside the Lee County Courthouse Thursday.
McNeil's trial for his alleged involvement in 2011 armed robbery is not set to begin until Monday, but his attorney, Ben Hand, told the court he received a letter from McNeil on Tuesday, telling him his services were no longer needed. Hand said he then filed a motion to withdraw as McNeil's counsel, a move the state said is an effort to manipulate the court. McNeil remained firm that he is "uncomfortable" going to trial Monday with Hand as his attorney.
Circuit Court Judge Chris Hughes reminded McNeil he chose to hire hand back in 2011 and has never before expressed any concern regarding his representation. In response McNeil and Hand asked to approach the bench, followed by Lee County Assistant District Attorney Kisha Abercrombie. After a brief discussion, Judge Hughes ordered everyone to clear the courtroom so McNeil could explain why he wanted a new lawyer.
After a brief recess, Judge Hughes decided to continue the case until Friday morning.
After the hearing McNeil and his family left the Lee County Courthouse through a back door and declined to speak to any members of the media. At this time mcneil's trial is still set to begin on Monday, April 8th.
Meanwhile McNeil is at the center of major NCAA rules violations accusations against the Auburn Football Team.
Those allegations include recruiting violations, academic fraud and cash payments to players.