RICHMOND, Ind. – Phillip Lee, the man charged in the murder of Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton earlier this year, plans to represent himself.
Lee filed a motion in Wayne County on Dec. 22 signaling his intent to forgo a public defender. “The Petitioner does not wish to have the assistance of counsel,” according to court documents signed by Lee.
On the same day, his previously assigned attorney, Robert W. Gevers II, filed a motion to withdraw as counsel.
Lee faces the death penalty in connection with the Aug 10 shooting of Burton, who suffered a gunshot to the head and was taken off life support on Sept. 1. She died on Sept. 18.
Burton and her K9 partner had arrived to assist other officers who’d stopped Lee. Police said Lee pulled out a gun and shot at Burton and other officers. Police returned fire and caught Lee after a short foot chase.
Lee faces multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
His trial is set for March 7, 2023, according to court records. In November, a judge issued a gag order barring anyone associated with the case from discussing it in public.