Third lawyer for Amanda Totchek withdraws from case
There was a surprise in a Saskatoon courtroom on Thursday when the lawyer for Amanda Totchek is looking for a new lawyer withdrew from the case.
Instead of a bail hearing for Totchek, who is also known as Alexa Emerson, Lisa Watson, Totchek’s third lawyer in a little over five weeks, withdrew from the case due to a conflict of interest.
“Unfortunately there’s a number of people involved in this case and I have a discovered that I have had an interaction with one of those people,” Watson said.
“That would mean my representation of Alexa on this matter would compromised so it’s not appropriate for me to continue and I sought leave to withdraw.”
Totchek is now facing 83 charges linked to bomb threats and suspicious packages.
Her case will now go back to legal aid, however it will be farmed out to a private firm as Totchek worked there for three years.
“This is what I would call a unique situation in that there are so many witnesses involved, so many businesses involved,” Watson said.
“With this accused having a connection to the legal aid office – that conflicts an entire office off of a file so it’s not usual that there would need to be so many lawyers however it’s not strange given these circumstances when there’s just so many people involved.”
There are roughly 250 witnesses at this point in the case, which is why Totchek may require private counsel from outside the region.
Totchek is accused of uttering threats after six bomb threats were emailed to businesses and schools in April, including Global Saskatoon.
She is now accused of sending bomb threats to Hague School and Warman High School.
Totchek is also facing more than 65 charges related to suspicious packages being delivered to a number of Saskatoon locations in the fall of 2016 and again in the spring of 2017.
City officials said it cost over $170,000 in resources to respond to all the suspicious package calls.
Totchek, who has maintained her innocence, could be ordered to pay back the money if she is convicted.
She is now scheduled to reappear in court on May 23.
Her now former lawyer is asking the public not to draw any conclusions about the case but to allow the court process run its course.
“I think that it’s important that the public wait until they hear the evidence in a court room and have a judge rule on that evidence on the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt,” Watson said.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.