AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Former Augusta Commissioner Sammie Sias has filed a second appeal to overturn his conviction and grant his request for a new trial on the basis that his attorneys were “ineffective” and “prejudicial.”
In new court documents filed Thursday, March 9, Sias and his new attorney allege that he received “ineffective assistance of counsel during the pre-indictment, pretrial, and trial phases of the case.”
His attorneys during the case, Crowder Stewart, were retained to represent him beginning October 19, 2019. They represented Sias prior to indictment, through the trial, and in post-conviction proceedings, until their request to withdraw was granted.
Sias was indicted on July 6, 2021 on federal charges that he destroyed documents and lied to federal agents be dismissed. He was convicted of obstruction of justice and making a false statement to a federal agent on July 29, 2022.
Sias filed a personal memorandum with the court requesting a new trial and appointment of new counsel on August 12, 2022. That same day, Crowder Stewart acting on Sias’ behalf filed a motion for judgment of acquittal, or in the alternative, for a new trial.
Crowder Stewart would remain as legal counsel for Sias until August 30, 2022, after an Ex Parte hearing when the court granted Sias a new court-appointed attorney.
In an affidavit from Sammie Sias, Sias alleged in short that the relationship between him and his attorneys at Crowder Stewart was “unreasonable” and “toxic.” He alleges that Crowder Stewart violated his constitutional rights for “self-protection and financial gain.”
“I believe that the time Crowder Stewart spent attempting to control, direct, and manage me was totally ineffective, a waste of time, and a disservice to my defense, the Judicial System and a violation of my Sixth Amendments Rights,” alleged Sias.
The court has yet to rule on Sias’ first appeal.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 for updates on this developing story.