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LAWRENCE COUNTY Neshannock man seeks to withdraw guilty plea



Published: Wed, April 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The defendant contends he was pressured into the plea.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A man who pleaded guilty and was sentenced on drug charges has changed his mind.

Eddie Fawzi Haddad, also known as Atallah George Haddad, of Mercer Road, Neshannock Township, wants to withdraw a guilty plea he made Jan. 15 in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Haddad, a Jordanian national, contends his attorney told him that he would be convicted at trial because of the attitude of prospective jurors against Jordanians after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He also says his attorney told him he would not be deported.

Probation, deportation: However, Haddad was sentenced to 10 years' probation with the specific condition that he be deported by April 30. An immigration hearing was scheduled for Tuesday. Details of that hearing were not available.

Haddad also contends that his attorney, Carmen Lamancusa, had a conflict of interest because Lamancusa was also representing Haddad's brother, Issa George Haddad.

Issa Haddad was convicted last month after a weeklong trial of two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of delivery of a controlled substance and three counts of criminal conspiracy in the sale of 22 OxyContin pills to a police informant Nov. 12-13, 2000.

Eddie Haddad faced similar drug charges and pleaded guilty in January to one count of illegal delivery of a controlled substance from his business, The Cruise-In Food Mart on East Washington Street.

Time limit: Lawrence County District Attorney Matthew Mangino had not seen Eddie Haddad's motion Tuesday but said that, in most instances, a person is given 30 days from the time of sentencing to appeal.

"When someone pleads guilty and is sentenced and 30 days has passed, the court normally loses jurisdiction," Mangino said.

Haddad's attorney, G. William Bills Jr. of Pittsburgh, could not be reached. A hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 1 in common pleas court.




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