Murder suspect asks judge for help

NORTHWOOD, Iowa – A man awaiting trial on charges of first degree murder is asking the judge – personally – for help.

In a three-page, handwritten note filed in Worth County District Court on Monday, 39-year-old Tyrone Washington Jr. asks Judge Colleen Weiland for help in several areas of his case, specifically for different counsel.  He is currently represented by public defender Susan Flander.

“Susan R. Flander lied to me,” Washington writes.  “I am asking the courts can I be appointed counselor outside of the publif defender office as you may see ‘ineffective assistance of a counselor’.”

Washington also expresses concern about media coverage of the case.  See full text of letter attached below.

Washington sites several reasons for what he believes to be ineffective counsel, including Flander allegedly encouraging him to discuss the case with her in areas where the conversation may be recorded by parties outside the attorney-client relationship.  He also complains that her advice has changed over the course of preparing his defense.

Washington, of Northwood, is charged with first degree murder in the stabbing death of Justina Marie Smith, also of Northwood.  Smith was found injured in Swensrud Park in Northwood on August 5.  She later died.  Washington was arrested later that die after a high-speed chase in the Quad Cities.  He has entered a not guilty plea, and is scheduled to stand trial on October 30.

Washington Letter

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