Man accused in trooper's killing gets new lawyers

Judge assigns attorney in embassy blast case

May 22, 2001|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - A judge has assigned two new lawyers - including one who is representing a defendant accused of blowing up a U.S. embassy in 1998 - to defend the 23-year-old man charged with killing an undercover Maryland State Police trooper last year.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly appointed Anthony L. Ricco, a New York attorney, and Jeffrey B. O'Toole, who works in Washington, to defend Kofi Apea Orleans-Lindsay of Silver Spring. Ricco and O'Toole are replacing his original attorneys, Billy Ponds and L. Barrett Boss.

Noting the changes in an order filed last week, the judge did not explain why Ponds and Boss were replaced. Neither could be reached for comment yesterday.

Orleans-Lindsay is accused of fatally shooting Cpl. Edward M. Toatley during an undercover drug operation in October on a Northeast Washington street. Prosecutors say video cameras hidden in Toatley's car show Orleans-Lindsay leaving the car. However, authorities concede that the video does not show the shooter's face.

Ricco is defending Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, 36, of Jordan, who is accused in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya in August 1998. That explosion and one in Tanzania killed 224 people. Jurors in the case against Odeh and three co-defendants are deliberating in New York. Neither Ricco nor O'Toole could be reached yesterday.

No formal decision has been made on seeking the death penalty in Orleans-Lindsay's case. Kollar-Kotelly has scheduled a status hearing for June 20.

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