Attorneys for convicted serial killer off case, re-sentencing delayed

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The re-sentencing hearing for a convicted serial killer was abruptly delayed Thursday when the judge allowed his attorneys to quit.

The attorneys said they didn't feel they could represent Anthony Kirkland, 49, after learning he was talking to an attorney for the State Public Defender's Office.

The case was postponed until Monday, when the judge is expected to appoint new counsel for Kirkland.

The development likely will delay the re-sentencing for months.

Kirkland was convicted in 2010 of killing two women and two teenage girls.

The jury recommended the death penalty, and the judge agreed.

But last year, the Ohio State Supreme Court ordered a re-sentencing hearing.

They said prosecutors may have been prejudicial in their closing arguments.

That means the man who sexually assaulted, strangled and then burned the bodies of three of his victims could get a lighter sentence.

He could be allowed to live out his days in prison without the possibility of parole.

Kirkland was convicted after a jury trial of murder in the 2006 death of 14-year-old Casonya Crawford and 2009 slaying of 13-year-old Esme Kenney.

He was arrested the day he killed Esme when she went jogging near the Winton Road reservoir.

Before the trial began, he pleaded guilty to killing two women, 45-year-old Mary Jo Newton and 25-year-old Kimya Rolison.

Once the jury is set for the re-sentencing, testimony must occur all over again, putting the families through the anguish of reliving the grisly slayings.

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