WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The middle school student convicted of shooting his English teacher to death four years ago has fired his lawyer, saying he wants to represent himself.
Nathaniel Brazill (search), now 17, is serving a 28-year sentence for killing Lake Worth Middle School teacher Barry Grunow. Brazill turned his gun on Grunow after the teacher refused to let him talk with two girls in his classroom.
Attorney Jack Thompson had taken Brazill's case, hoping to help the teen reduce his sentence. Brazill fired him, saying he wanted to serve as his own lawyer, Thompson said.
"He's a tough guy," Thompson said of Brazill. "I wish him well."
Brazill's appeals have been denied, and the Florida Supreme Court (search) refused to review his case. But a trial court judge could reduce his sentence if new information is presented or if it is shown that the teen's former defense attorney Robert Udell did not represent him well.
Udell said he cautioned Brazill against firing Thompson.