One of the suspects accused in the brutal murder of teen Latisha Frazier is seeking withdraw his guilty plea, saying that he was confused when he agreed to it and did not realize that the plea would not significantly lessen his potential sentence.
An attorney for Brian Gaither filed the motion Tuesday.
Gaither entered the plea in Nov. 2012 in the midst of his trial preparations. Since then, though, he has come to reconsider that choice.
According to the motion, Gaither was confused during the trial late last year and Gaither’s attorneys at the time “refused to indicate his concerns to the court and told him that he had no option except to resolve the case by plea.”
When Gaither realized the plea deal would not result in a significantly reduced sentence compared to the results of a trial, he regretted signing it, the document said.
The plea would have left him facing a maximum sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors, though, had promised to ask for a sentence of no more than 32 years in prison.
Prosecutors believe Frazier was the victim of a brutal attack by six people in Aug. 2010. Beaten, stomped, bound, taped, gagged, prodded and choked, prosecutors say Frazier’s head was covered with a sheet and she was tossed into a closet, where she died. Her body was never recovered, but investigators think it was taken to a Virginia landfill.
The motion asks that Judge William Jackson set a new trial date for the case.
Gaither’s earlier attorney, Eugene Ohm, stepped down Jan. 31, court records show. Ohm was replaced by attorney Archie Nichols.
The government has yet to respond to the motion. A status hearing is set for Feb. 27.