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Indecision Affecting Murder Trial

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Savannah, Georgia -

Indecision by one defendant in a murder case is leading to a delay in trial for another -- and the possible loss of a plea deal for himself. As part of a plea deal in the case he accepted back in November, John Montrell Small was expected to testify against his brother on trial for the same murder. It was set to begin this week, but everything screeched to a halt when the Judge announced Small had changed his mind.

Judge Timothy Walmsley addressed John Small on Friday regarding a letter Small had written last month to the Public Defender raising two issues, "One is your representation in this case and the other is your desire to withdraw your guilty plea that is currently before the court." Defense Counsel Brian Daly sat quietly while Small spoke to the Judge about his concerns, "What specifically is your objection to your current counsel?", asked Judge Walmsley. "I mean it's like everything that I talk to him about - he doesn't seem to agree or it's always a different story about what's going on," said Small.

Small admitted he had no legal background or training so the Judge explained his options regarding his defense to murder charges in the shooting death of Timothy Randolph back in April of 2012. Judge Walmsley then took a recess to allow small and his attorney to talk...afterwards - a startling announcement from Daly, "Mr. Small has informed me he does not wish to have me withdraw from the case and he also wished not to withdraw his plea in the case." Which didn't sit well with Prosecutor Matthew Breedon, "He has violated the terms of his negotiated plea even if he now chooses not to withdraw his plea. By refusing to come in and testify in the trial of Devontay Small - forcing that case to be continued - stating that he wanted to withdraw his plea…I do not want to be in a situation now where we set down Devontay Small for trial and this happens either right before the trial or even worse - in the middle of the trial." Breedon said the State would either rescind the entire plea offer or put forth one other option.

That option will be discussed with Small over the weekend. If he does not plead - his trial will move forward in early March - with his brother's to follow.

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