Returning the case to Reno was the second topic of discussion during this status hearing in Washoe District Court. The first: Darren Mack's change of plea.
On November 5, Mack pleaded guilty to premeditated murder of his wife Charla, and shooting at the judge handling their divorce Chuck Weller.
But today in court Mack's attorney, William Routsis, painted a very different picture. He wants to change his client's plea. He claims his client was misled by his former attorney's Scott Freeman and David
Chesnoff and had no idea what entering a guilty plea meant.
"If Darren Mack was asked what did he do, he would tell you what he has been saying for 16 months. He fought in self defense.
Prosecutor Christopher Lalli said in court, he has analyzed case law and it is his contention that if Mr. Mack changes his plea because of "fundamental miscommunication" as stated in Mack's motion, all attorney client privilege is waived. Lalli told the court he would call Mack's former attorneys to the stand to talk what what they discussed with their client.
"One of the allegations here is that somehow Mister Freeman and MIster Chesnoff did something wrong. That they coerced him in someway. And they are two of the finest lawyers in the state of Nevada and I just simply don't believe that. And so I want to be given the opportunity to talk to them about that.
Routsis asked Judge Doug Herndon for two days to argue his change of plea request, that was granted and set for January 15 and 16th. When Routsis asked for a change in the sentencing dates January 17th and 18th the following days...the request was denied.
Mack's attorney says his client will file a declaration tomorrow. In that document Routsis says Darren will lay out everythng that happened to him during the course of the trial--including negotiations with the prosecution concerning his plea bargain. Allegations Routsis says will clarify why Darren Mack should be entitled to the change of plea. Routsis called the facts layed out in the declaration, "frightening."
Mack's brother Landon alleged after the hearing that the signature on the plea bargain agreement is not his brothers'. The younger sibling said he was not privy to his brother's plea negotiations and was only made aware of Darren's intentions just moments before court proceedings got underway November 5th.