NEW: Judge Removes Attorney From Murder Case
A Rockingham County judge removed an attorney from the case of a Harrisonburg man accused of killing a man on Christmas Eve.
Prosecutors filed a motion asking that a judge remove defense attorney Aaron Graves from Delano’s Fitz’s case because Graves previously represented a witness in the case.
“It’s clear to me that I can’t allow Mr. Graves to represent you,” Judge Bruce Albertson said this morning during a hearing in Rockingham County Circuit Court. Albertson noted in court that this situation does arise occasionally.
Delano Fitz, 28, is charged with four counts: first-degree murder, possession of a weapon as a convicted felon, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. Fitz has claimed self-defense in the shooting death of Traman Turner outside his girlfriend’s townhouse.
Graves asked the judge to appoint a second attorney just to handle the one witness, who was not identified.
Fitz was not happy with the ruling, saying he wanted Graves to continue representing him.
“I’m fighting for my life,” Fitz told the judge. “I don’t see how this can happen.”
Albertson then appointed attorney Lou Nagy to represent Fitz. The defendant is due back in court on Tuesday. Albertson asked Nagy to see if he has any conflicts in the case and advise him during the next court hearing.
Police say Fitz shot and killed Traman Turner after Turner arrived at his ex-girlfriend's Harrisonburg home to pick up his three children.
Police say Fitz shot Turner, 27, at least four times in the parking lot of the woman's townhouse on Commerce Drive.
Prosecutors say at least three shots hit Turner in his back. Medical examiners are still trying to determine whether the fourth shot also struck him in the back, or entered his chest.
During a previous hearing in the case, witness testimony suggested that Fitz — the boyfriend of Turner’s ex-girlfriend at the time of the shooting – thought it was a sign of disrespect for Turner to pick up his children while he was at the home.
Police say the two men argued in the parking lot outside the townhome before shots were fired.
The woman at the center of the dispute, Edasha Williams, initially told police that Turner was the aggressor but later testified Fitz was the one who started the altercation.
Fitz, who is being held at Rockingham County Jail without bond, is set to go on trial Aug. 25. The jury trial is scheduled to last five days.