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Kouri Richins preliminary hearing date removed as new defense team steps in

Posted at 12:49 PM, May 24, 2024

PARK CITY, Utah — As Kouri Richins' defense attorneys have withdrawn from the case and a new team has stepped in, a preliminary hearing scheduled for June has been completely removed from the calendar.

Skye Lazaro, who had been Richins' lawyer for the duration of the case, was formally dismissed during a hearing Friday.

Lazaro and the attorneys at Ray Quinney & Nebeker P.C. filed a request to withdraw from Richins' defense, claiming there was an "irreconcilable and nonwaivable situation."

"Ms. Lazaro, your motion to withdraw is granted, you are being removed as counsel from this case," said Judge Richard Mrazik during a virtual court appearance Friday.

"Thank you, I appreciate that," Lazaro responded.

Mrazik also requested that all appropriate files and information be transferred to the new defense team.

Richins' new team, Kathy Nester and Wendy Lewis of Nester Lewis Attorneys at Law, was also introduced during the hearing Friday.

Mrazik voiced that because of the new counsel, Richins' preliminary hearing, which was originally postponed from May to mid-June, would also need to be moved.

Lewis explained that June 18 was no longer a viable date because of "multiple terabytes of discovery" that her team needed to review.

Mrazik completely removed the June 18 preliminary hearing from the calendar in order to give the defense time to catch up.

Instead, a date was set for a briefing deadline for motion to disqualify and the motion to suppress.Mrazik said the defense would talk with their client to determine what, if any, motions they wanted to pursue before the next hearing.

Richins and her new team will appear next in court on June 21 at 3 p.m. for an in-person hearing.