- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A public defender has withdrawn from representing the Milwaukee man accused of masterminding the theft of a $5 million Stradivarius violin in January.

Salah (suh-LAH’) Salahadyn (suh-LAH’-ha-deen) was scheduled to enter a plea Thursday. But public defender Alejandro Lockwood asked to withdraw from the case.

Lockwood provided few details except to say Salahadyn didn’t agree with his decision, and that Lockwood had a conflict of interest. He recommended that Salahadyn retain counsel who wasn’t a member of the public defender’s office.

Milwaukee County Judge Dennis Moroney wasn’t pleased by the late change. He speculated that Lockwood couldn’t elaborate because of attorney-client privilege so he didn’t press, but he grudgingly allowed the withdrawal.

Salahadyn wanted to make a statement but Moroney wouldn’t allow it until Salahadyn gets new counsel.

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