The May 27 status hearing concerning the State against Rex Lee Smart, with Sixth District Court Judge Wallace Lee presiding, was again interesting. Defense Attorney Greg Saunders quit after being on the case for over a year and a half. Saunders said that he would like to withdraw since he''d be ineffective assistance to his client, and that he had a conflict. Judge Lee asked Saunders if he could state his reason(s) to withdraw as counsel, either in the courtroom or in camera, (alone with the judge and prosecution), and he said no.

    Smart then requested a public defender, and after review was granted one, with the caveat more review might be necessary concerning financial conditions concerning the need for a public defender.

    Judge Lee said that the trial was still on for the last week of September.