Johnathan Cromwell granted change in defense counsel again

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Johnathan Cromwell has once again been granted a new attorney to represent him.

Jonathan Cromwell

Back in January, 22-year-old Cromwell was charged with Second Degree Murder after police said he shot and killed 60-year-old Jiansheng Chen. The crime happened in the Riverwalk Park area of Chesapeake where Cromwell was working as a security guard at the time.

A few months after the initial charges were filed, Cromwell fired his attorney Emily Munn. Cromwell's father told News 3 they were not happy with Munn's involvement in the case. Munn did not comment about the termination, only telling the court it would be in everyone's best interest if she was taken off the case.

A public defender, A. Robinson Winn, was assigned to the Cromwell case. During that time Cromwell's charges were upgraded to First Degree Murder.

Now the family has been granted a request to hire Andrew Sacks to represent Johnathan Cromwell. Sacks is the defense counsel for Citywide Protection Services, the security company that Cromwell was working for the night the shooting happened.

The judge determined Monday that Cromwell's request to change his counsel will be granted.

News 3 also learned through new court documents that the defense counsel plans to admit into evidence that Chen has a violent history and their client was acting in self-defense. They cite another man, Steven Ray, was almost hit by Chen in Virginia Beach in 2015.

The motion filed earlier this month goes along with the defense's initial argument, that Cromwell feared for his life the night he killed Chen.

The defense is also asking for a ballistics expert to be assigned to the case.

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