Defendant halts sentencing to ask for new lawyer
Christopher Seals was set Thursday to receive six years or less in prison as he was to be sentenced in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on a pair of burglary charges dating back to 2015.
Seals, however, said he did not get along with his lawyer and asked Judge Anthony D’Apolito to withdraw his guilty pleas and hire a new lawyer, even though he was arraigned two days ago on a fresh set of charges and had to have the court appoint a lawyer for him because he claimed he had no money.
Judge D’Apolito instead gave Seals a week to confer with another lawyer and decide if he wanted to withdraw his plea, although Assistant Prosecutor Nick Brevetta said if the plea was withdrawn, the state would seek a higher sentence at the next sentencing date.
Brevetta said Seals is charged with a pair of burglaries in Jackson Township in 2015. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of eight years each in prison.
Seals told the judge he understood the offer the prosecution made – which he accepted in August 2015 when Judge Shirley Christian was on the bench – would be out the window if he withdrew his plea.
Mark Lavelle, Seals’ attorney, told the court Seals wanted to get rid of him because Seals believed the case was going to be dismissed. Lavelle said he knew of no such arrangement but said Seals insisted that was true.
Read more about the cases in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.