The Utah Supreme Court Monday denied a motion to let a Salt Lake attorney take over legal representation of Robert E. Jones Jr., who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend.
Attorney Craig S. Cook argued Monday morning that Jones' appointed attorney, Robert Froerer, has a conflict of interest and should not have been appointed to represent him. Second District Judge David Roth rejected the conflict of interest charge, so Cook appealed to the Utah Supreme Court.In 1983, Jones was convicted of murdering Kim Chapman, the boyfriend of Jones' former girlfriend, Beverly Jones. She testified that Robert Jones was hiding in a closet at the Chapman residence and emerged with a gun when she and Chapman returned home. Chapman was shot and killed; Beverly Jones was also shot, but survived.
Jones, however, claims that either Beverly Jones or Chapman produced the gun and that the shootings occurred during a struggle.
The Supreme Court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial. Jones was once again convicted in June 1987.
Monday's hearing before the Supreme Court concerned Jones' claim that Froerer has a conflict of interest because he works for the Weber County Legal Defenders, which was previously found to have a conflict of interest in the Jones case.
Cook is the attorney who won Jones a new trial after his first conviction. He wants to be appointed as Jones' attorney to appeal the second conviction as well as argue a motion for a new trial.