TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A man charged in a home invasion has been appointed his sixth defense attorney.
Mark Bennett will now represent Monroe Eugene Lockhart. His former attorney, Steve Rosel, surrendered his law license after complaints he violated state rules of professional conduct.
Lockhart will be in court January 2nd for a pre-trial hearing. His jury trial is set to begin January 14th.
He's charged with a November 2011 assault and burglary during which prosecutors say a co-defendant burned a victim with a knife. The trial has been delayed several times while Lockhart fought to retain his initial attorney, Billy Rork. A judge ruled Rork could not represent Lockhart because Rork also was representing a co-defendant in the case against whom charges ultimately were dropped.
Lockhart is a former partner in the former Mo's Express convenience store. The store was the scene of a November 2011 holdup during which two employees were shot and wounded. The liquor store in the same complex was the scene of a Christmas Eve 2011 holdup during which a worker was shot and killed.
Lockhart's business partner and friend, Corey Brown, was found murdered in rural Douglas County in January 2012. No one has been arrested for the killing.