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Former San Luis Obispo County jail inmate files suit against his public defender

Posted at 9:25 PM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 00:25:59-04

A former San Luis Obispo County jail inmate is suing the public defender’s office.

The suit was filed by his current attorney Paula Canny.  Canny represents a number of former inmates and their families and has filed lawsuits in both State and Federal Court.

John Wyman, a 52-year old veteran, claims his court-appointed attorney failed to fully investigate his case before urging him to plead guilty to felony charges.  He ultimately pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of resisting a peace officer, but not before spending 10 months in custody.

Canny who also represents the family of Andrew Holland, who died in custody, says she filed this suit to help make sure that defendants who can’t afford an attorney get adequate representation.  Canny says she filed the malpractice suit against San Luis Obispo Defenders, a private law firm that contracts with the county to provide public defenders.  Also named in the suit is the head of the firm, Patricia Ashbaugh and the attorney appointed to Wyman, Ronald Crawford.

Wyman was originally charged with three felonies after allegedly resisting three San Luis Obispo Police Officers in 2018.