A Howard man sentenced in July to serve 36 years in state prison for shooting his ex-girlfriend's lover is suing his former attorney.
Randall Brooks, 39, filed a lawsuit against Bellefonte-based defense attorney Brian Manchester, according to court documents.
Brooks alleged his father paid Manchester $17,700 in Nov. 2010 to represent him through his trial. The suit says Manchester dropped Brooks as a client in July 2011 and wouldn’t refund any money.
Brooks was convicted in the December 2009 drive-by shooting of Matthew Ross, who survived, called 911 and testified at Brooks’ eventual trial in March 2012.
Police alleged Brooks remained in contact with the woman after the shooting, harassing her and trying to prevent her from telling police, until his arrest on attempted homicide charges in September 2010.
Brooks continued to contact the woman from behind bars, police said, writing her letters and calling her repeatedly to get her to change her story, police said.
When that didn’t work, he tried to hatch a plot to influence a juror for his trial when his confidante — a fellow inmate — turned him in to police.
A trial scheduled for July 2011 was postponed when Randall Brooks was charged with jury tampering days before it was set to begin.
New charges against Brooks were filed as recently as December 2011, as he continued to contact the woman, causing more delays. His trial eventually was held in March 2012.
According to Brooks’ civil suit, Manchester dropped him as a client in July 2011 due to a conflict of interest with a confidential informant who came forward in the case.
Brooks also alleged Manchester failed to get him out on bail, as promised, and “repeatedly broke promised jail meetings.”
After Manchester withdrew from the case, Brooks was represented by defense attorney Karen Muir. But he ultimately chose to represent himself at his trial.
Manchester was not available for comment Thursday.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter