Last week’s murder of a Corwith man has a unique tie to the on-going state budget crisis. Attorneys in one public defender’s office may end up representing both men charged with the crime. To avoid a conflict of interest, co-defendants are not usually represented by the same public defender’s office and the state pays a local attorney an average of 50-thousand dollars to represent the second defendant. Hancock County Attorney Karen Kaufmann is worried about how the state budget crisis is affecting this case. She says the rules of ethics say co-defendants shouldn’t be represented by the same lawyer.The Mason City public defender’s office will represent Jason Matthew Hiveley of Clarion the Fort Dodge public defender’s office -wants- to represent Creig Clayton Shelton of Goldfield. Shelton will be represented by another attorney at no cost at the December 18th hearing which determines whether there could be a potential conflict of interest or not. Kaufmann wants to make sure there is not any conflict of interest.Hancock County magistrate Tom Pronk says it’s the first time in state history such a request has been made.
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