Defense attorney removed from Michael Registe murder case

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – News Leader 9 has learned, attorney Stacey Jackson has been removed from the Michael Registe case. 

The Georgia Supreme Court reaffirmed a decision made by the trial court which was appealed by Jackson.  Justice David Nahmia issued this opinion, "The disqualification was clearly appropriate based on the ethical rules that prohibit an attorney from participating on both sides of the same case."

Laura Murphree, Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia, who has been appointed to prosecute the case said,  "We're please by it; I believe they made the right decision. It was a unanimous decision".

According to court opinions, while Jackson served as assistant district attorney he signed search warrant applications to secure evidence against double- murder suspect Michael Registe. Murphree added, " This case pretty much gave us a bright line rule. If you worked on a case no matter what level of work you did on one side, you can't flip and work on another side on another day."

The state felt Jackson's representation was a conflict of interest. Click here to see the court document. 

By the time Registe was captured in St. Maarten and extradited to Columbus, Jackson joined a private practice and was later hired to defend Registe.  

Jackson could not be reached for comment. The next step in the case is for the judge to hold a status hearing to establish council for accused murder, Michael Register.

Prosecutors say Registe fled the country after the 2007 double-murders of two Columbus college students, 21-year-old Randy Newton, Jr. and 20-year-old Brian Kilgore.  

Registe, a former America's Most wanted murder suspect, was caught in St. Maarten in August of 2008.

News Leader 9 is following this story. We'll have the latest information as soon as it becomes available.

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