The trial for a man accused of killing a Fort Myers police officer has been delayed.
Jury selection was supposed to start on Tuesday for Wisner Desmaret, who is accused of killing Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller, but judge Robert Branning has granted a last-minute request to remove Desmaret’s attorneys.
Instead, Attorney Lee Hollander has been assigned to the case. Hollander is no stranger to high-profile cases. He just finished representing Sheila O’Leary, who was sentenced to life in prison for starving her 18-month-old to death.
Hollander will be in court on Tuesday for a motions hearing for Desmaret.
Desmaret was arrested in 2018 after he shot Jobbers-Miller. Jobbers-Miller died a week after the shooting.
Hollander told WINK News he is now on the case but has yet to speak to Desmaret.
Hollander might be the lead attorney, but it’s also possible he will assist Desmaret, who this week was making the case to represent himself.
Jobbers-Miller’s family and friends have awaited justice for more than four years.
Jobbers-Miller responded to a call for service at a Marathon gas station along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and the altercation ensued with Desmaret taking Jobbers-Miller’s gun and using it against him.
Desmaret was arrested almost immediately but it has yet to go to trial.
If Desmaret is convicted, he faces a possible death sentence.
The removal of Desmaret’s current lawyer comes after Desmaret accused him of doing drugs and called him a name.
Branning asked Desmaret if he wished to represent himself.
“I think I’m doing a better job,” Desmaret responded this week.
With Hollander’s assignment, the conclusion is that Branning is allowing his defense team to resign.
Malcam Godwin is a defense attorney not associated with the Desmaret case.
He said bringing in a new lawyer now means the trial will not happen for months, maybe years.
“It would almost be like starting the clock back over again because it’s such a significant case with such complex history in the last four years that a new attorney would have to catch up on,” Godwin said.