*Another defense lawyer has asked to leave Bill Cosby’s team as it prepares for the comedian’s second trial on sexual assault charges in November.
Earlier this month, lead attorney, Brian McMonagle of Philadelphia announced he would quit the case, and now Cosby’s second lead attorney, Angela Agrusa of Los Angeles, filed paperwork Tuesday saying she also plans to step down.
Agrusa said in her motion to withdraw that Cosby is seeking new counsel but factors beyond his control, including summer and trial schedules and the “particularities of this high-profile and sensationalized matter” are slowing down the search.
As a result, Cosby is seeking to delay until Sept. 11 a pre-trial hearing in Norristown, Pa., set for Aug. 22 to discuss, among other matters, whether or not he will have new lawyers by then.
While no one on Cosby’s team is explaining the reason for McMonagle and Agrusa wanting off the case, but the actor’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, told USA Today “our new counsel will be in place by the end of the month.”
McMonagle and Agrusa headed the Cosby legal team that defended him at his June trial on three charges of aggravated indecent sexual assault against Andrea Constand, who accused him of drugging and molesting her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He denies wrongdoing, says their encounter was consensual.
After six days of trial testimony and five days of deliberations, the jury deadlocked, unable to agree on a verdict and the judge declared a mistrial. Kevin Steele, district attorney of Montgomery County, Pa., said he would retry Cosby and Judge Steven O’Neill set the new trial date for Nov. 6.
Steele objects to Cosby’s desire for a delay in the pre-trial hearing and asked O’Neill to deny it, according to documents in the case. Steele said Cosby has already missed two dates to sign up new lawyers and another postponement would further delay “the timely administration of justice in this matter.”