David Njuguna. (Kendall Buhl/WBZ NewsRadio)
WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The lawyers for the man charged with manslaughter in the 2016 death of Massachusetts State Police Trooper Thomas Clardy have withdrawn from his case.
It was an unusual move in the Worcester Superior Court trial of David Njuguna: A switch of defense attorneys after closing arguments, but before a verdict.
In removing Peter Ettenberg and Jaclyn Rose Greenhalgh, Judge Janet Kenton-Walker had nothing but praise for the team, but reluctantly agreed to the withdrawal.
"In order to represent a client, the attorney has to have the confidence of that client," she said.
The question of Njuguna's confidence in his team was first raised in an outburst last week in which Njuguna apologized to the widow of Trooper Clardy repeatedly.
It was confirmed Monday as an often confused Njuguna answered questions from the judge.
Prosecutors claim Njuguna, 33 of Webster, was high when he struck Trooper Clardy's cruiser on the Mass Pike in Charlton on March 16, 2016, killing him. Njuguna's defense claimed it was not marijuana, but a medical emergency that caused him to speed and crash into Clardy's cruiser.
Njuguna waived his right to trial by jury, so Kenton-Walker will now go back to deliberating in the case.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl (@KBuhlWBZ) reports