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Devawn Mitchell

An Emporia man facing first degree murder and a slew of other charges has been appointed new counsel following an appearance in Lyon County District Court, Monday afternoon.

Local attorney Paul E. Dean will now represent Devawn Mitchell, 23, who was arrested March 18 after he rear-ended a pickup truck driven by Steven Henry, 64, also of Emporia. Henry was killed in the wreck.

Dean was appointed to the case by Judge Douglas P. Jones after Mitchell told the court he had fired his attorney.

Mitchell had originally secured Wichita-based attorney Kurt P. Kerns to represent him in the case. According to Kerns’ web site, he is an “A rated Superlawyer who has won over 80% of his murder trials.” Kerns is a founding partner of the Ariagno, Kerns, Mank & White, L.L.C. law firm.

Mitchell is facing charges of:

  • Murder in the first degree
  • One co
  • unt of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer
  • Three counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer
  • Three counts of reckless driving

Mitchell will next appear for an in-person preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. June 2 with Judge Jones at the Lyon County Courthouse. He remains incarcerated at the Lyon County Detention Center on $1 million bond.

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