Serial rape suspect denied plea change, new lawyer

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by David Baker

azfamily.com

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 6:10 PM

PHOENIX -- The teen accused of being the so-called "South Phoenix Rapist" tried Friday to get out of his guilty plea.

DeJuan Donaldson faced a judge in his sexual assault case. He was originally was supposed to be sentenced Friday, but instead he asked to withdraw his plea, and change his defense lawyer.

He told judge William Brotherton that he didn't see eye-to-eye with the attorney representing him. Donaldson said his lawyer lied to him about his plea.

"Broken promises like, if you sign this plea, you'll get out at this certain age," Donaldson said that his attorney told him. "You'll be able to live your life."

But the judge wasn't buying it.

"Actually I went through that with you when you made the change of plea and you were listening," Brotherton said. "I actually questioned you about that. So you were."

Brotherton denied Donaldson's change of counsel request.

Donaldson pleaded guilty last month to  two counts of sexual conduct with a minor, two counts of attempted sexual conduct with a minor, sexual assault and attempted sexual assault.

Investigators say he raped three girls in 2011. He allegedly dragged them into vacant homes and attacked them.

But Friday Donaldson wanted to withdraw his plea, saying that he was intimidated into signing the deal.

"My attorney told me that I had no choice but to sign the plea or I was going to trial, lose, and die in prison," said Donaldson.

Brotherton didn't see this as intimidation, and rejected Donaldson's request to withdraw his guilty plea.

Donaldson will be back in court for a sentencing/mitigation hearing on April 19.
 

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