New attorney appointed to defend man accused of shooting two Sheffield officers

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(Morgan County Sheriff’s Office photo)

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – A man accused of shooting two Sheffield Police officers, killing Sgt. Nick Risner, has a new defense attorney.

Court records show Rebecca Green Thomason was appointed Tuesday.

Colbert County District Judge Chad Coker noted that there is a list of attorneys in the 31st Judicial Circuit Court willing to defend those charged with capital murder.

Nathan Johnson and Sheila Morgan asked to be removed from the case last week; Johnson due to a large caseload, saying he believed he couldn’t adequately represent Martin, and Morgan due to a conflict of interest.

Coker, who approved Johnson and Morgan’s motions to withdraw from the case, said all of the remaining attorneys on the list, which are approved by the court, had conflicts of interest and an attorney outside the list was needed.

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, Lt. Max Dotson, also was hit in the shootout, and has filed a lawsuit against Martin, saying the intentional acts committed by Martin caused him physical harm, mental anguish, and emotional distress.

Martin has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 25.

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