A motion to disqualify a Tulsa attorney from defending a domestic murder defendant was denied by a Tulsa County judge Thursday.
District Judge William LaFortune denied prosecutors’ motion to disqualify attorney Jason Edge, saying Edge doesn’t possess confidential information about a former client that would create a conflict of interest in his representation of a current client.
Edge currently represents Vicky McNeely, who’s charged with first-degree murder in the 2013 fatal shooting of her husband, Daniel McNeely.
Daniel McNeely had hired Edge to defend him against charges of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in 2011 after McNeely allegedly threatened his wife with a knife in their home, according to court documents. The charges were dismissed two months later after Vicky McNeely declined to testify against her husband.
Two years later, she was accused of fatally shooting her husband while he again was threatening her with a knife in their home, and she hired Edge to defend her.
LaFortune heard prosecutors’ evidence on a motion to disqualify Edge from the case on Tuesday. Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore argued that Edge’s representation of the alleged murderer of a former client violated the attorney’s duty of loyalty to his former client.
Sharisse and Richard O’Carroll, who were hired to represent Edge against the motion to disqualify him from the case, argued that a conflict would exist only if Edge possessed confidential information obtained from Daniel McNeely that he could use to his advantage while defending the current case.
LaFortune told the court Thursday that based on the evidence presented to him by both sides, all of the information Edge possesses related to Daniel McNeely is either public record or has been disclosed to additional parties besides himself, and therefore he will not be disqualified.
“We’re very pleased with what we thought was a very judicious and correct hearing, and we’re ready to move forward,” Edge told the Tulsa World after the hearing.
The court will next hear the state’s motion to reject subpoenas from the defense on July 31.