Attorneys for accused Sheffield cop killer Brian Martin ask to be dismissed

Alabama

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. — The court-appointed attorneys for accused murderer Brian Lansing Martin both asked to be removed from the case Thursday, a week and a half before his first scheduled court appearance.

Attorneys Nathan Johnson and Sheila Morgan had different reasons for wanting to be dismissed from the case.

Martin, 41, is accused of shooting and killing William Mealback Jr. on Oct. 1 and leaving his body on Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals, as well as fatally shooting Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner in a shootout shortly after Mealback’s murder. Another Sheffield officer also was hit in the shootout.

In his motion, Johnson said he was busy with several other cases, including three capital murder cases. Court records show Johnson is representing Benjamin Andrew Davenport, who’s charged with killing Amber Streitmiller at a Muscle Shoals home in September 2018. Johnson also represents Richard Kevin Hester, who’s charged with killing J.T. Call in September 2019 in Tuscumbia. In Franklin County, he has a court case with Thomas Alan Martin, who was indicted in 2019 on capital murder and burglary charges.

Johnson said in his motion that he didn’t believe he could adequately represent Martin given his current caseload.

Morgan’s motion to withdraw cited a conflict of interest. No other details were given in the motion.

Martin has a preliminary hearing set for Oct. 25.

Colbert County’s district attorney has said he plans to seek the death penalty in the case.

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