Defense attorney bows out of Portage murder case

2013-06-24T11:43:00Z 2013-06-24T23:13:04Z Defense attorney bows out of Portage murder caseBob Kasarda, (219) 548-4345

VALPARAISO | Defense attorney Thomas Vanes withdrew his representation Monday of one of two defendants charged in the Nov. 1 shooting death of a Portage man.

Vanes told the court defendant Sheaurice Major has assets, but they are tied up in a divorce case.

If the assets become available later in the case, Vanes said he would be willing to jump back in as her attorney.

The request to withdraw was granted by Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford, who appointed a public defender to represent Major and to move the case forward.

A status hearing was set for July 29.

Police allege 42-year-old Major, of Portage, hired 21-year-old Dontaye Singletary of Gary to kill 72-year-old Carl Griffith Sr. outside his Portage home.

Griffith was shot three times about 8 p.m., shortly after returning from work to his home in the 2700 block of Locust Street, police said. Police would not comment on the motive for the crime.

Singletary and Major each are charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The murder charge carries a potential sentence of 45 to 65 years behind bars, and the conspiracy count has a maximum prison sentence of 20 to 50 years.

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