Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning appointed James DePasquale to head the defense team for Richard Poplawski. Assistant Public Defender Lisa Middleman had been the lead attorney, but will now focus on defending Poplawski during the death penalty phase of his trial.
That's because Manning removed attorney J. Richard Narvin as death penalty counsel on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, Manning reluctantly postponed the trial from October until April 2011 after Middleman said that Narvin needed extra time to prepare the death penalty defense.
Poplawski allegedly shot and killed three officers responding to a domestic dispute call from his mother in April 2009.