The Louisiana attorney for accused serial killer Derrick Todd Lee says he needs more money to begin preparing for a March 1 trial. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Michael Mitchell, the public defender appointed by the court to represent Lee, said “I don’t believe March 1 is a realistic trial date.” Mitchell has said he must withdraw from the case unless he receives more money to pay for Lee’s defense. Lee, 34, is linked by DNA to the slayings of six Louisiana women.
“The victims’ families are anxious for a conclusion to this matter,” said a prosecutor. On July 24, Lee will be back in court when Anderson will hear arguments on Mitchell’s request for additional money to prepare Lee’s defense. Mitchell is asking the judge to determine which government-financed agency should provide the extra money.
Mitchell asked the judge to let Lee change out of his orange prison jumpsuit before going to court. Yesterday, he walked before a line of news cameramen and photographers in his jumpsuit. “The Supreme Court of Louisiana has consistently held that compelling an accused to wear jail clothing furthers no essential state policy,” Mitchell wrote “…Forcing Lee to appear in orange jumpsuits further threatens his presumption of innocence in an already overpublicized case.”