• Last modified 931 days ago (Dec. 29, 2016)


New lawyer appointed in rape case

Staff writer

A Peabody teen who changed his mind about a plea agreement that would have dismissed several serious charges against him has lost his lawyer.

Malachi Lee Hunsucker, 19, charged with multiple counts including rape and criminal sodomy involving a child younger than 14, appeared in court Dec. 21 for a hearing on his lawyer’s request to be allowed to stop representing him and Hunsucker’s request to back out on his plea agreement.

Chief District Judge Michael Powers asked Newton attorney Donald Snapp why he wanted someone else appointed to the case.

“Mr. Hunsucker contended I allowed him to be coerced into a plea,” Snapp said. “In that instance, I expect I could be called either by the prosecution or the defense.”

Powers agreed to relieve Snapp of defending Hunsucker, and asked Harvey County attorney David Yoder, prosecutor for one Harvey County and two Marion County cases against Hunsucker, whether another lawyer could take over Hunsucker’s defense.

Hunsucker has had two defense attorneys. McPherson attorney Gary Price was his lawyer before he asked for someone else to be assigned. Now Snapp has been removed from the case as well.

Powers appointed Emporia lawyer Stephen Atherton.

The judge declined to make a decision about Hunsucker getting out of his earlier plea agreement. Instead, he tentatively scheduled a hearing for Feb. 16.

Last modified Dec. 29, 2016