Judge Denies Underwood Request For Change Of Counsel

Judge Denies Underwood

Request For New Attorney

Joshua P. Underwood is led into Otsego County Court this morning, where a scheduled felony hearing was closed, pending the Grand Jury’s decision on whether or not to indict. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for www.allotsego.com

Judge Lucy P. Bernier denied Underwood’s request for change of counsel.

ONEONTA – Judge Lucy P. Bernier denied Joshua Underwood’s request for a change of counsel during his appearance in Oneonta City Court this morning.

Underwood, who had been arrested and charged with murder in the New Year’s Day death of Mark J. Morrison, 52, had written a letter to Judge Bernier, dated Jan. 8, to request the change, saying his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender James Ferrari, spoke to the press after he asked him not to.

“Mr. Ferrari is an experienced counsel,” said Bernier. “I see no basis to this claim, and am denying this request.”

The scheduled felony hearing was adjourned after a certification from District Attorney John Muehl that the case had been presented yesterday to a grand jury, who will vote whether or not to indict and try Underwood in County Court.

The Jury Report is due Friday, according to District Attorney John Muehl.  If the grand jury voted to indict, Underwood will be arraigned in the Otsego County Court.  If not, Muehl said, he will be released and the case will be closed.


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