Convicted murderer wants new lawyer prior to sentencing

A sentencing hearing scheduled for Nov. 28 for convicted murderer Milo Blaine Whitetail, 59, might have to be pushed back because Whitetail has demanded to fire his lawyer.

Defense attorney Kyle Craig represented Whitetail at his July murder trial. The jury subsequently found Whitetail guilty of the Class AA felony murder of Eric Patterson on May 25, 2020, at a Minot hotel. Craig then filed a motion this month to withdraw as Whitetail’s lawyer because he said the attorney-client relationship has irretrievably broken down. Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney Tiffany Sorgen opposes Craig’s motion to withdraw and says it will delay the sentencing.

On Tuesday, during a hearing on the matter, Whitetail told Judge Doug Mattson that he wants to “get rid of” Craig and accused Craig of getting angry and yelling at him when Whitetail talked with Craig on the phone. This triggered his post-traumatic stress disorder, Whitetail told Mattson. Craig said he disputes some of the details in Whitetail’s account but he is not able to elaborate under the rules. Sorgen told the judge that Craig represented Whitetail zealously, despite a tough collection of facts against him. She also said a planned evaluation of Whitetail has already been delayed because Whitetail wants his attorney with him during the evaluation and this was prevented because of Craig’s pending motion.

Mattson said he will take the matter under advisement and decide whether to permit Craig to withdraw “before Hostfest is over.” The Norsk Hostfest is scheduled to begin today and will run through Saturday.


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