Defense Attorney Kelly Mallard will no longer represent Deon Waynewood in his criminal case after Waynewood failed to appear for a jury trial last month.
District Judge Dane Watkins Jr. accepted Mallard's motion to withdraw Monday morning after speaking to him and Bonneville County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Russell Spencer.
Mallard told the court he has not had contact with Waynewood since his disappearance. Watkins asked Mallard if he was open to representing Waynewood if he was found, but Mallard said his motion was also based on complaints Waynewood made against him.
"I think at this point it's impossible for me to represent Mr. Waynewood if and when he's picked up," Mallard said.
Mallard said Waynewood has had acquaintances attempt to file a motion to continue in the case without consulting Mallard. Waynewood also complained in court records that Mallard did not communicate with him and that he was not properly prepared for trial.
Mallard denied Waynewood's accusations during the hearing, telling Watkins, "Frankly, I don't want to sit down and try to justify myself to him."
Mallard, who is the fourth attorney to represent Waynewood, told the Post Register after the Post Register that Waynewood was the one not communicating.
"(He's) accused me of failing to stay in touch, but he is the one who absconded and dropped his phone," Mallard said.
Waynewood's three previous attorneys also withdrew from the case. According to court records, the first withdrew for lack of payment, the second said Waynewood fired him and the third said Waynewood violated their contract.
Spencer gave few comments, telling the judge his office doesn't "have a dog in this fight." He said he believed the accusations against Mallard were unfounded.
Spencer also said his office is looking into whether Waynewood appeared for a scheduled hearing in his Colorado case for resisting arrest. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Alayne Bean told the Post Register the prosecutor's office has since learned Waynewood did not not appear for that hearing and a bench warrant has been issued for his arrest in Colorado.
Waynewood was arrested and charged in 2019 with two counts of lewd conduct with a minor and two counts of sexual battery of a minor. Each count comes with an enhancement because he was a registered sex offender at the time the offenses are alleged to have occurred.
Due to the enhancement, each charge is punishable with a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and up to a life sentence. If convicted on all charges, Waynewood would have to serve a mandatory minimum of 60 years in prison.