Public Defender Should Have Been Arrested

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Authorities say a miscommunication caused a longtime public defender to avoid jail when officers responded to a domestic violence call at his house in January.

Shawnee County deputies determined after the fact that there was enough probable cause to arrest Wendell Betts. Betts was issued a summons last week for charges of domestic battery and witness intimidation.

The district attorney's office appointed Jerold Hathaway as a special prosecutor for Betts' case.

The Public Defender’s office would not say how many active cases Betts is currently working. Shawnee County district court administrators say it's likely that some of Betts' cases will be reassigned and postponed to allow new attorneys to prepare. Betts will appear in court April 24th.