Longo withdraws from gun case due to conflict of interest

Cary Ashby • Aug 25, 2014 at 1:07 PM

A New London man accused of threatening a neighbor with a gun has a new attorney because Huron County Public Defender David Longo once represented the victim.

"I think it was the only time I represented him," Longo said during the Aug. 13 hearing in Huron County Common Pleas Court.

The public defender had met with the son of defendant William M. McCullough, 69, of 1732 S. U.S. 250, last week about the case. Longo said he did some subsequent research, discovered some information he said any defense attorney would consider "gold," but then learned he had represented McCullough's accuser.

Longo said due to his large case load, he didn't recall representing the man four months ago.

Reese Wineman was assigned to represent McCullough, who is charged with a felony count of possession of weapons under disability and aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor. The charges are in connection with a June 4 incident at his home.

Longo said the case is interesting and he would consider filing a motion about the possible lack of probable cause. Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway ordered the public defender to forward all the evidence he has to Wineman, whom the judge expects to ask for a new trial date.

"I'd like to be actively involved in my own defense. I'd like to be appointed co-counsel," McCullough told the judge, pointing out he had done so in two past cases.

Conway said he believes the state law doesn't allow defendants to be co-counsel, which was possible in the 1980s. He suggested McCullough speak to his new attorney about the situation.

"I don't want to represent myself," said McCullough, who has been unable to post a $50,000 bond.

The defendant served about 20 years in prison for the Jan. 1, 1985 shooting of his former girlfriend and another man. Authorities have said McCullough shot the two victims at point-blank range during "a fit of jealousy" while the pair were kissing on a couch. The victims survived the shooting.

McCullough's criminal record also includes prison terms for trafficking in LSD and trafficking in marijuana plus a six-month sentence for attempted assault on a police officer. A Huron County sheriff's deputy was forced to use a Taser on McCullough during his arrest at his home because he was being uncooperative.

At the time of the mid-May 2008 incident, McCullough was arrested on an unrelated warrant. He was charged with failure to report to jail on the original conviction of child enticement. McCullough served a 40-day sentence at the Huron County Jail.

McCullough was convicted of telling several boys and girls, ages 9 to 13, he wouldn't hurt them if they approached him when he was near a white van. One of the victim's parents told McCullough to leave after he told a child to put the Freeze Pop in the back of the vehicle.

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