KINGMAN – The efforts of Aveyon Lashawn Nevitt, the 20-year-old arrested in connection with May’s alleged carjacking of a Las Vegas Uber driver, to secure new representation fell flat Tuesday when Mohave County Superior Judge Billy Sipe denied his request for a new attorney.
Nevitt is being represented by Ron Gilleo, but says his family has trouble getting in touch with the attorney. He summarized his request by saying it boils down to a “lack of faith.”
“I have a high-profile case, and I feel that I don’t have confidence in Ron Gilleo as far as defending me and looking out for my case,” Nevitt told Sipe. “I’d ask that the court grant me effective counsel.”
Nevitt added he isn’t confident that Gilleo can secure a favorable plea bargain, to which Sipe replied there is no guarantee of a plea offer from the state, much less a good plea offer. When asked of other issues he has with Gilleo, Nevitt replied that he believes Gilleo lacks experience.
Sitting on the side of the prosecution, Gregory McPhillips, Mohave County deputy attorney, defended Gilleo in speaking to a potential plea offer.
“This is a case that I think the state feels involved atrocious conduct, and this is a case that I think the state believes a heavy sentence is appropriate for,” McPhillips said. “So, from the state’s position, this will be a difficult case to get a plea offer on that’s going to be the type of plea offer that many defendants are going to jump at because of the violent behavior in this particular case.”
He added there are few attorneys in the area held in such high regard as Gilleo, and that he’s never heard negative comments about the attorney. Sipe said an attorney should not be taken off a case because he relays negative information, such as a less-than-ideal plea offer, to a defendant.
“Mr. Nevitt, you have to understand you’re not charged with shoplifting in Mohave County, you’re charged with very serious crimes, dangerous offenses and have a prior conviction for robbery,” Sipe said. “So this is not the type of case where the prosecutor is trying to figure out what plea offer you would accept so they can make the plea offer and move things along.”
Nevitt is facing 12 felony counts in total: two counts of kidnapping, theft of means of transportation, four counts of aggravated assault, drive-by shooting, armed robbery, two counts of criminal damage and endangerment.
“Again, I just see no basis to remove Mr. Gilleo from your case, so I’m denying your request for a new lawyer,” Sipe told the defendant.