Man accused in teens' 1978 deaths gets new lawyer
NEWARK, N.J. – A new attorney has been assigned for one of two men charged in the deaths of five New Jersey teens who disappeared in 1978.
Lee Evans of Irvington, and his cousin, Philander Hampton of Jersey City, each face five counts of murder and one count of arson.
Prosecutors say the men killed the teens in a dispute over missing drugs. Both have pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday, the 57-year-old Evans was assigned a new public defender. The change was requested on Evans' behalf by Deputy Public Defender Michael Marucci, who declined to comment on it, as did a spokesman for the state Office of the Public Defender.
Evans remains free on bail. Fifty-three-year-old Hampton remains in custody.
Prosecutors say the men herded the teens at gunpoint into an abandoned building and set it on fire.
(This version CORRECTS Evans' age to 57, not 56.)