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Friday, October 2, 2015
Local attorney Pruitt to take over defense of accused killer Brinkman
Brinkman's former attorney recovering from near-fatal hit-and-run
Oxford attorney Robert Pruitt announced today that he will be taking over the defense of accused killer Dudley Brinkman.
Pruitt is stepping in for Brinkman's previous attorney Pamela Lipscomb, who was critically injured in a hit-and-run incident last weekend.
According to family members, Lipscomb was in a medically induced coma from Sunday until Wednesday. When she regained consciousness, one of the first things she spoke about was asking Pruitt to meet with her in the hospital regarding the Brinkman case.
After visiting Lipscomb at the hospital yesterday, Pruitt reportedly met with Brinkman and, shortly thereafter, filed papers with the court to take over as Brinkman's attorney for the upcoming trial.
Pruitt comes to the case as a former assistant district attorney in Yoknapatawpha County, and more recently, an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Brinkman trial date unclear
Dudley Brinkman is facing murder charges in the death of Andrew Fine on July 4, 2014. Jury selection for his trial was scheduled to begin last Monday, but Lipscomb was injured just hours before and the proceedings were postponed.
With Pruitt taking the reins of the defense, a new trial date has not yet been set, but it is expected to be after the first of the year to allow Pruitt sufficient time to familiarize himself with the case and decide on a course of action.
Lipscomb had not revealed her strategy, but court watchers speculate Brinkman's defense will center around a "defense of others" argument, claiming that Brinkman killed Fine to protect Fine's wife, Cynthia.
Immediately after Brinkman was arrested, Cynthia Fine's family — and the victim's in-laws — came out in support of Brinkman.
Cynthia Fine's sister, Robyn Dykman, pledged to contribute to Brinkman's legal defense, saying the circumstances of the crime warrant a reduced charge.
Dykman and her husband were among those who contributed to a fund that secured Brinkman's release on $100,000 bond while he awaits trial.
Lipscomb hit-and-run still unsolved
The Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department said today that the hit-and-run incident that sent Brinkman's former attorney, Pamela Lipscomb, to the hospital is still being actively investigated.
If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact the sheriff's department or Yoknapatawpha County Crime Stoppers.