- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon man charged with murder told a judge he needed another court-appointed attorney because he “killed a woman” and therefore shouldn’t be represented by a woman.

“If I’d have killed a man, this woman could have defended me,” Howard Stull, 79, of Eugene said of Elizabeth JC Baker.

Stull was arrested a year ago after his landlady died from stab wounds. He pleaded not guilty after his arrest.

Baker acknowledged in court that Stull has been a difficult client, accusing her and a defense investigator of being police officers, The Register-Guard reported (https://bit.ly/29ORUYU ).

She took issue with a state hospital report that determined Stull is mentally fit to stand trial. Stull, however, described himself in court as a “normal cat” and said he’s “not nuts.”

Lane County Judge Charles Zennaché agreed to remove Baker from the case, though he told Stull that Baker is one of the most zealous advocates among Eugene defense lawyers.

Baker was assigned to Stull in December after the defendant kicked his original lawyer off the case. The judge said he’s maintaining a list of attorneys in case Stull is unhappy with lawyer No. 3.

Stull’s landlady, 59-year-old Kathy Kay Braun, was found dead inside the garage at her home last July. Braun’s mother told police her daughter allowed Stull to rent a bedroom in her garage, but later, after learning details of his criminal past, had difficulty trying to get him to leave, according to court records.

Stull’s record includes convictions for robbery, assault and other crimes.

Baker said she had been exploring potential trial defenses on Stull’s behalf, and that a neurologist concluded from a review of medical records that Stull has a traumatic brain injury.


Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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