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Ranch-slayings suspect's defense team to stay on

May 31, 2014

By The Associated Press

MEDFORD — An Oregon woman charged with killing two former handymen attempted to fire her defense attorneys, but the judge denied her request.

Susan Monica, 65, told Jackson County Judge Timothy Barnack that her attorneys are not properly investigating her defense. Monica complained that one of the attorneys, Christine Herbert, wanted her to sign a waiver to look at any mental-health records that might exist on her.

“She seems to be more interested in my mental health than the case,” Monica said, according to the Mail Tribune newspaper.

The bodies of Stephen Delicino, 59, and Robert Haney, 56, were found in January on Monica's 20-acre pig farm in the southwest Oregon community of Wimer. Both were shot in the head and dismembered in what prosecutors allege were separate murders committed more than a year apart.

Monica said Haney left her property alive and she wants Herbert to examine Haney's cellphone records to track his whereabouts before his death.

“They haven't tracked down where Robert Haney was a month and a half before I found him in my ...” Monica said, before stopping herself.

Barnack declined to fire Herbert and co-defense attorney Zachary Light. The judge also wouldn't let Monica represent herself on two murder and felony abuse-of-corpse charges as she requested.

“I'll give you an opportunity to represent yourself down the line, but not now,” the judge said. “It would be a mistake not to let them work the case right now.”

Barnack told Monica that “you're normal, to me” and reminded her that she is innocent until proven guilty.

“I realize I am guilty of a couple things, but I'm not guilty of murder,” Monica said.

The often rambling, 17-minute hearing was prompted by a letter Monica wrote to Barnack that he said contained information about the case. He did not elaborate in court Friday.

Monica, who was not shackled during the hearing, was returned to the Jackson County Jail, where she has remained held without bail since her Jan. 10 arrest.


Information from: Mail Tribune,

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