published Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Accused murderer John Thomas Simpson's trial pushed to November

The case against accused murderer John Thomas Simpson has been delayed until November.

Simpson was set to go to trial this morning, but he filed a motion to replace his attorney, Dan Ripper -- Simpson's fourth attorney since his 2010 arrest. He says he filed a complaint with the Board of Professional Responsibility.

Simpson told Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole that Ripper had a "major conflict" in representing him. Simpson said he was not allowed to say anything about this conflict.

For his part, Ripper said he was ready for trial and didn't know of any conflict between himself and Simpson. He said he and Simpson met twice in the last 10 days, and Simpson did not raise any issues.

Simpson and three other defendants were charged with murder in 2010 after they allegedly killed 46-year-old Bernard Hughes during a robbery. Juries convicted Harold Butler and Unjolee Moore last year. Both received life sentences.

This morning, Poole told Simpson that he thinks the defendant is only asking for a new attorney to further delay his trial. Nevertheless, Poole granted Simpson's request. He will appoint him a new attorney on Friday.

The trial is now set for Nov. 18. Poole warned that Simpson will not be able to ask for a new attorney again.

“Multiple lawyers have worked long and hard for you," Poole said. "They’ve worked long and hard to protect your rights. ... You've manipulated the court."

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