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Winchester Murder Suspect Unable to Pay Lawyer

Thomas Mortimer, IV, claims that he can't use his children's college funds to pay for his lawyer.

Thomas Mortimer, IV, has told the court that he deserves a publicly paid for defense attorney, but the state wants him to pay with his children's college fund account, according to the Boston Herald.

The case will be heard in front of the Supreme Judicial Court next month, the Herald said.

Mortimer is charged with four counts of first-degree murder of his mother-in-law, Ellen Ragna Stone, 64; his wife, Laura Stone Mortimer, 41; his daughter, Charlotte Mortimer, 2; and his son, Thomas “Finn” Mortimer V, 4.

In September of 2010, Judge Julia Kern ruled that Mortimer is partially indigent and should be able to pay some money to the state. Mortimer had a joint account he had with Laura Stone Mortimer for $11,000. He also owns two cars, one of which is a Toyota Highlander and he has his children's college savings account worth $25,000.

According to the Herald, Mortimer's lawyers argued that the college fund was in his wife’s name and he “had no direct access to the funds."

Because Mortimer is unemployed, held without bail and is already $10,000 in debt to credit card companies and $3,000 behind to the Internal Revenue Service, his lawyers say that he should be held indigent, according to the Herald.

However, Attorney General Martha Coakley disagrees, saying the “interpretation advocated by Mortimer would mean any person without a current income is automatically indigent, regardless of his overall wealth,” according to the Herald.

Mortimer is due back in court on March 8 for a motion hearing.

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