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New attorney for suspected killer

December 25, 2004

Mark R. Madler

A new attorney has been appointed to represent a man charged with the

shooting death of a Burbank Police officer although the move is not

expected to significantly delay a trial.

The Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office had to pull out

from representing David A. Garcia because of an undisclosed conflict.

Pasadena Superior Court Judge Teri Schwartz on Wednesday appointed

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Seymour Amster, a private attorney, to represent Garcia. Amster is

certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in criminal

defense.

Deputy Public Defender Christopher Apostal said outside court that

removing himself from the case had nothing to do with its merits.

"This doesn't imply anything negative about David," Apostal said.

"We believe in his case but there are certain legal issues that came

up."

Garcia, 20, faces the death penalty if convicted in the death of

Matthew Pavelka, who was shot in a hotel parking lot in November

2003.

Pavelka was assisting another officer who had stopped Garcia, 20,

and Ramon Aranda at the Ramada Inn in the 2900 block of North San

Fernando Boulevard. Aranda was killed during the shootout and Garcia

was arrested several weeks later in Mexico.

Garcia is scheduled to appear in court again Jan. 28.

During Wednesday's brief court appearance, Schwartz told Garcia

that the case would go to trial within 60 days of the January date.

Garcia is being held without bail at the Los Angeles County Jail.

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