Registe makes first appearance in Columbus court - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Registe makes first appearance in Columbus court

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Flanked by Muscogee County Sheriff's deputies, Michael Registe remained silent in Superior Court Friday.

It was the first time the suspected double murdered appeared in court since stepping back on American soil.

The matter at hand is whether his lawyer, Stacey Jackson, can stay on the case.

Prosecutors say Jackson presents a conflict of interest in the case since he worked in District Attorney's office at the time of the 2007 killings.

According to the prosecution, Jackson signed off on three applications for federal subpoenas when United States Marshals were trying to track Registe down overseas.

The documents were for his sister's phone records and potential credit card information- a card that reportedly had been used to buy his plane ticket.

Jackson says a Deputy U.S. Marshal prepared the documents and while he signed them, he doesn't remember specifically what they say.

Judge Doug Pullen delayed his ruling on the matter and wants to talk to the deputy Jackson dealt with.

Until then, he wants the lawyer to think about how his involvement in the case would play out during trial.

Jackson says he already has.

"That's something obviously that we've thought long and hard about and something we don't take lightly but as I told the judge, it's something we've considered. The affidavit was filed with the court today by our team- the affidavit signed by Mr. Registe saying he wanted to exercise his 6th Amendment right to have council of his choosing and that would be myself," he said.

Jackson says he was never privy to the intimate details of the murder case as assistant district attorney. He says he is still the man for the job ahead.

"That's what Mister Registe hired me to do- work diligently and vigorously on this case and on his defense and that's what we're prepared to do, to do just that," he added.

Pullen wants the prosecution and defense to work together to find the Deputy U.S. Marshal Jackson worked with on the subpoenas and question him before making any ruling on the matter.

The deputy is reportedly serving active duty in Alabama and the judge hopes to hear from him sometime next week.

Pullen also brought up a possible change of venue in Friday's proceedings.

He says he doesn't think Registe can be fairly tried in this county.

Stacey Jackson did file a motion for a change of venue and that's the next issue that will have to be settled.


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