Another attorney dips out in murder trial for men accused of killing Army vet
Better Call Saul.
The suspected gunman in the oldest Mercer County has attorney problems, as yet another one ducked out of his homicide case.
Danuweli Keller was dealt another blow Friday, when his new attorney, Thomas Verrastro, asked a judge to be let out of the case, which is scheduled for trial in September.
Judge Robert Billmeier reluctantly allowed Verrastro to withdraw.
“I consider this the eve of trial,” Billmeier said, even though the trial is about three months out.
He indicated he would not put the trial on hold.
”Some attorney is going to have to come up to speed very quickly,” Billmeier said.
He gave Keller a week to retain a private attorney or else he will be represented by a public defender in Mercer County.
Verrastro explained he was only partially paid by Keller’s family after they struck up a retainer agreement.
Verrastro took over the case for Keller’s old attorney, Richie Roberts, the famed “American Gangster” attorney who has been suspended from practicing law in New Jersey.
Verrastro made his first appearance in the case in March.
But he explained Friday he could no longer represent Keller, who is one of three men being tried together for the murder of Dardar Paye, an Army veteran and Liberian immigrant.
Paye was fatally shot inside the basement of a Monmouth Street home on Jan. 16, 2011 in Trenton.
His body was placed in garbage bags and stuffed in the trunk of a Buick, which one of the suspects drove while attempting to dispose of the body.
It has been five years since five men were arrested and charged for their alleged roles in the 2011 execution-style murder.
Phobus Sullivan, Mack Edwards and Danuweli Keller are being tried together, while Williams Brown and Abdutawab Kiazolu will be tried separately.