Defense attorney withdraws in slaying case, citing breakdown in client relationship

St. Clair County Courthouse file photo, October 2021
St. Clair County Courthouse file photo, October 2021

A teenager charged with open murder may see a delay in his trial.

Byron Pitts withdrew as Carmello Wilson's defense attorney Monday, telling the court his relationship with Wilson had broken down.

Wilson, 15, was arrested in July after being accused of killing 19-year-old KC Curtis Cureton near the intersection of 13th Street and Lapeer Avenue in Port Huron. He has been charged as an adult.

Pitts has represented Wilson since his arrest. A copy of his brief in support of the motion to withdraw was not available in Wilson's case file, and Pitts offered little explanation in court Monday.

Circuit Court Judge Daniel Damman told Wilson his jury trial, which was scheduled to begin Dec. 5, may be delayed further, forcing him to wait in jail while a new attorney catches up on the case.

"It may be January, it may be February, it may be March, I don't know how long it will take to get another attorney up to speed," Damman said.

Wilson did not object to Pitts withdrawing from the case. He asked the court to appoint an attorney from the St. Clair County Public Defender's Office to represent him.

St. Clair County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Sparling also did not object to the motion, but did ask the court to be considerate of the effect delaying the case has for Cureton's family.

Sparling previously filed notice of his intent to introduce evidence of other crimes. According to the notice, the prosecution obtained a video recording of an incident in which Wilson reportedly threatened Cureton with a gun, one week before the shooting.

Typically prosecutors are not allowed to introduce evidence of a defendant's other crimes to avoid creating bias in a jury. Sparling argued, however, that the video from this incident would prove Wilson showed a willingness to kill Cureton before the shooting occurred.

Open murder is punishable with up to life in prison. No hearing dates have been scheduled in the case.

Contact Johnathan Hogan at

This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Defense attorney withdraws in teen's slaying case