Lawyer for accused Miccosukee man disqualified

The lead attorney handling the retrial of a Miccosukee tribal member accused of murdering his two sons was disqualified on Monday.

A judge in Florida disqualified the lawyer because he previously represented four prosecution witnesses who testified against Kirk Douglas Billie, whose retrial is set to begin May 3.

In the first trial, Billie was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the 1997 deaths of his 5-year-old son and 3-year-old son. But an appeals court overturned the conviction because the jury heard information about Billie's past, which included domestic violence.

The crime occurred off-reservation but witnesses lived on Miccosukee land. State prosecutors ran into problems gathering information and finding witnesses.

Get the Story:
Judge Disqualifies Lead Attorney For Man Who Drowned Sons In SUV (AP 3/22)

Court Decision:
Billie v. State (July 30, 2003)

Related Stories:
Fla. court overturns conviction of Indian man (7/31)
Billie given two life sentences (4/20)
Billie plans appeal of murder conviction (2/23)
Fla. murder trial winds up (2/22)
Mother testifies about death of sons (2/8)
Murder trial begins in Florida (2/7)
Feds dispute tribe's brand of justice (10/16)
Miccosukee tribe tries to protect sovereignty (9/26)