Accused killer’s request for new attorney granted

EVERETT — A man accused in the June killing of a woman found tied to a bed in her Lake Stevens home on Thursday convinced a judge to give him a different court-appointed attorney.

Anthony Garver filed a four-page, handwritten motion detailing in neat print his claim that he can’t work with his assigned public defender, creating a situation that violates his constitutional rights.

Garver, 25, said his attorney was “condescending” and appeared uninterested in his ideas for fighting the first-degree murder charge.

“In many ways it’s analogous to the productivity of talking to the wall, only a real wall would be less nominal,” he wrote.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss said he’d read Garver’s motion. He also listened to the defendant in court on Thursday.

He granted the request for a new lawyer, but told Garver he didn’t think it would make much difference. The defendant repeatedly interrupted the judge, even as he was granting the motion.

Garver at one point suggested he had intimidated his attorney and was having the same effect on Weiss.

“Sir, there’s not a chance that you are going to intimidate me,” the judge said.

Garver is being held without bail, charged with killing Phillipa S. Evans-Lopez, 20. She was stabbed two dozen times, and her throat was cut. She left behind a 3-year-old son, according to her obituary.

In court papers, deputy prosecutor Matt Hunter has alleged Garver is linked to the killing through genetic evidence allegedly left on the electrical cords that were used to bind Evans-Lopez. The slain woman’s blood also reportedly was found on a knife Garver was carrying when he was arrested July 2.

Detectives also have tracked down surveillance videos from an Everett fast food restaurant and a store showing Garver accompanying Evans-Lopez, according to court papers.

Investigators say Garver has admitted meeting her and being in her home, but stopped talking when confronted with the blood-stained knife.

Garver has in the past threatened to kill judges and prosecutors. He was released from federal prison in February after serving time for threatening to blow up a government building in Spokane.

He dropped from sight in March and became a fugitive. He was being sought by the U.S. Marshal’s Office for escape and a probation violation when he was arrested in Everett on the murder charge.

He’d been squatting in an abandoned home.

In 2008, federal prosecutors tried to get Garver locked up for as long as possible, citing a psychiatric assessment that concluded he posed a danger to the community.

His trial had been scheduled for later this month, but Weiss was told that was unlikely to happen anyway. The new lawyer will have to be appointed before a new trial date is set.

Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com

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