Huntsville lawyer who interviewed WAAY 31 for film coverage responds to ethics complaint | News


Huntsville attorney Richard Jensen was only assigned to the defense team of former Huntsville police officer David McCoy for 47 hours, but he charged state taxpayers 17, 4 hours of work on the case and asking the state for $1,218, WAAY 31 has learned.

Jensen also responded to WAAY 31’s ethics complaint, which was sent to the Alabama State Bar following an interaction between the attorney and our newsroom. The investigation was assigned to the Madison County Bar Association Grievance Committee.

In his written response, Jensen called the news of his offer to swap an interview about McCoy’s case for coverage of his film’s premiere “viral fake news.” He included an article from the ABA Journal in which he says the request was “misinterpreted”.

WAAY 31’s I-Team continues to dig into the days Jensen was on McCoy’s case and the lasting effects of his appointment.

The timeline so far

Last month, WAAY 31 called Jensen after he made the strange request and recorded the call. In the recording, Jensen did not deny asking for the deal.

Jensen declined to comment on McCoy’s case after saying we wouldn’t agree to cover the low-budget film he directed and starred in. Jensen was assigned to the high-profile McCoy murder case on January 10, hours after the former officer. was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing his 24-week-pregnant girlfriend, Courtney Spraggins.

Less than two days after being assigned to the defense team, a judge granted Jensen’s motion to stand down, after our original story aired detailing his troubling request.

WAAY 31’s newsroom alerted the Alabama State Bar’s Office of the General Counsel to the request, and they have launched an investigation which remains open.

The Attorney General’s investigators received a response from Jensen to the complaint against the bar on January 31, after Jensen received a copy of the complaint for review.

Jensen responded by saying he didn’t believe he needed to respond, based on what he calls “hearsay of viral fake news from a lawyer refusing to cooperate with the media.”

Jensen went on to explain that when the WAAY 31 report went “viral”, he responded to the story “in the only media that would print the truth about the case, the ABA Journal”.

In this article, Jensen alleges that the WAAY 31 reporter “is getting testy with me.” Jensen admits to telling WAAY 31, “If you expect me to give you access, you need to be accessible when I have something to tell you,” and says it wasn’t a request for coverage in return. of an interview.

Meanwhile, Jensen submitted his timesheet to the state to be paid for his time on McCoy’s defense team.

In official timesheets that Jensen submitted — timesheets that WAAY31 received and reviewed via an open records request — Jensen billed taxpayers for 0.5 hours to “review biased media coverage.”

The majority of the hours submitted related to extrajudicial preparation, primarily a wave of pre-trial motions. After Jensen withdrew from the case, the new defense counsel withdrew many of those motions, and the others were resolved without a judge ruling on them.

In the ABA Journal article, Jensen describes the Huntsville media as “shit.” He also called the media “fake news” in the lawsuits filed after the WAAY 31 report, when he stepped down from the case on January 12.

Before stepping down from the case, Jensen said his client didn’t want him to step aside. Jensen did not respond to WAAY 31’s request for additional comment.

On Monday, Jensen’s bill to the state for the McCoy case was not processed and he was not paid.

Currently, McCoy’s capital murder charges await review by a grand jury. He remains in the Madison County Jail. If convicted, McCoy could face the death penalty.

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