Suspect in killing of Richmond police officer seeks to represent himself

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Seara Burton. (IL file photo)

A man facing a death penalty charge in the fatal shooting of an Indiana police officer has asked a judge to represent himself, and his appointed attorney wants to withdraw from the case.

Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, of Richmond, is charged with murder in the death of Richmond Police Department Officer Seara Burton. He filed a motion Dec. 22 to represent himself at trial, court documents show.

That same day, his court-appointed defense attorney, Andrew Maternowski, filed a motion seeking to withdraw from the case, records show.

His trial is scheduled to begin March 7.

Burton, 28, died Sept. 18 from a gunshot wound to the head after she was taken off life support Sept. 1. She was shot Aug. 10 after officers stopped Lee and Burton was called to assist with her police dog.

A gag order bars police, attorneys and others from commenting on the case.

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