SPOKANE, Wash. -- The two men accused of the brutal kidnapping and murder of a 20-year-old woman in March were in court Friday to discus a conflict of interest in their case.
Gary Stoddard and his nephew John Ritchey are accused of killing Heather Cassel. Detectives believe Stoddard was not only responsible for Cassel’s murder but likely victimized other women across the country.
Detectives recently received information that Stoddard had made comments that the victim “got what she deserved, just like the rest of them.”
On Friday, the state filed a motion regarding a potential conflict of interest in the case.
Stoddard’s Attorney Tom Kryminski is currently the director and supervisor at the Spokane County Counsel for Defense. Kryminski will not be in that position for much longer. He was just appointed the Spokane County Public Defender.
Stoddard’s co-defendant is already represented by someone in that office, which causes a conflict of interest. In order for the two co-defendants to be represented by the same office they must sign a waiver.
The judge said this is a dangerous position for the defendants. She said it does not look good to have Stoddard's attorney supervising Ritchey's attorney. The judge wants to assign conflict counsel for each of the men to consult on this matter. The court will make that decision in a hearing on Monday.