The brother and sister of Night Stalker suspect Richard Ramirez are coming to Los Angeles in an attempt to convince him that he should replace the Los Angeles County deputy public defender assigned to his case, El Paso attorney Manuel Barraza said Friday.
Barraza has criticized Deputy Public Defender Allen Adashek, contending that he is more interested in money and fame through book and movie deals than he is in proving that his 25-year-old client is innocent.
Adashek, however, said he remains the attorney of record and that is the way Ramirez wants it. He denied having any plans to seek fame and fortune in the case. He said the first public mention of any book rights came from Barraza, who, Adashek pointed out, is not authorized to practice law in California.
The El Paso attorney, who was back in the Texas city on Friday, had said early in the week, “If there’s any possibility of someone being interested in the story, that would sure help finance the defense.”
Barraza noted that Ramirez’s family is not wealthy.
Ramirez is scheduled to enter pleas Sept. 27 on eight felony counts lodged against him in Los Angeles County, including one of murder with special circumstances.
Barraza said by telephone Friday: “At this point, we’re still trying to obtain a California attorney for the criminal side of the case. And, based on the conversation I had with Allen Adashek, that’s the only way to go. Or he should be replaced by another public defender.”
He said his “gut feeling” was that Ramirez’s refusal to see him after a Tuesday night jail meeting was prompted by Adashek.
Barraza repeated his accusations that Adashek is looking primarily for personal prestige, claiming that the public defender told Ramirez that he would get an attorney “to handle the movie and book rights end of the situation.”
Adashek was not available late Friday to comment further on Barraza’s claims.
Barraza, who said he had been in daily contact with family members, noted that the suspect’s sister, Rosa Flores, and brother, Julian Ramirez Jr., were planning to travel to Los Angeles “to try and explain to him.”
The Texas attorney maintained that Ramirez has no access in Los Angeles County Jail to radio, television or newspapers and “doesn’t know what’s going on.”
But, Barraza added, the suspect is being well-treated, is not bothered by other inmates and reads and exercises.
Authorities have linked a serial killer known as the Night Stalker to as many as 14 murders and 21 assaults in Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as San Francisco.