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Local News in Brief : Lawyer Is Quitting Night Stalker Case

One of the defense lawyers for Richard Ramirez, accused of the Night Stalker murders, is dropping out of the case, and the defendant’s remaining attorney says he has been shopping around for a replacement for several weeks, without much luck so far.

San Jose attorney Arturo Hernandez has hardly appeared in court at all since jury selection got under way July 21, prompting speculation about his status in the murder trial.

But lead defense attorney Daniel Hernandez, also of San Jose, has declined to publicly explain Arturo Hernandez’s absence. He did confirm Wednesday afternoon that he has been interviewing criminal defense lawyers to assist him in Ramirez’s trial.

Ramirez is charged with murdering 13 Los Angeles County residents in a spree of nighttime attacks three years ago that also left many injured.

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The status of Arturo Hernandez has been the subject of numerous private meetings between Daniel Hernandez and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael A. Tynan, who is presiding over the criminal trial. The judge has refused to discuss Arturo Hernandez’s status, but as recently as last week he noted in an interview that Arturo Hernandez was still officially one of Ramirez’s attorneys of record.


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