August 1, 2014

Elyria
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Convicted killer Neil Simpson has new lawyer

ELYRIA — Convicted killer Neil Simpson has gotten his wish — he has a new attorney, after threatening to rape his last lawyer.

CT file photo.

CT file photo.

Attorney Paul Griffin, Simpson’s new lawyer, said he wasn’t concerned about Simpson’s threats to attorney Kenneth Ortner.

“I hope that we have a professional attorney-client relationship, and I’m going to endeavor to thoroughly review the proceedings and represent him as vigorously as the law allows,” Griffin said.

Simpson was convicted of aggravated murder and other charges earlier this year and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the June 2007 slaying of pizzeria owner David Kowalczyk during a robbery of Granny D’s Pizza in Lorain.

Simpson has denied he shot Kowalczyk and asked to be either stoned to death or crucified after the jury decided against giving him the death penalty and instead recommended the life prison term.

Simpson had spit on a juror during the sentencing phase of the trial and was escorted out of the courtroom while cursing vocally.

Ortner was appointed to represent Simpson on his appeal, but Simpson complained in a profane letter — which also contained a drawing of male genitalia — that Ortner had turned over a pair of shoes to police as evidence in the murder case.