Defense lawyer withdraws from Morales case

A district court judge has allowed a defense attorney to withdraw from murder suspect Bradley Morales’s case over the objections of the Ward County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Raissa Carpenter asked to withdraw from the case because she felt continuing to represent Morales might constitute a violation of the state’s rules of professional conduct for lawyers.

Ward County Deputy State’s Attorney Kelly Dillon filed an objection. Dillon argued that Carpenter didn’t give the reason for her motion and delaying the case further will negatively impact Morales’s rights. A preliminary hearing in the case had been scheduled for Nov. 2 and Morales, of Minot, has been held since August in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, Sharmaine Leake. Carpenter responded that she is not required to give specifics. A lawyer’s statement that it is necessary to withdraw is sufficient.

Judge Doug Mattson signed an order allowing Carpenter to withdraw and ordering the public defenders office to appoint another lawyer for Morales.

– Andrea Johnson