Attorney change keeps man in jail on felony charge

Noah Kuchar, wearing an orange jacket at lectern, takes part in a plea hearing Thursday morning in 35th Circuit Court in Corunna.

CORUNNA — An Owosso man accused in a methamphetamine case will await further proceedings in jail for at least another month after Judge Matthew Stewart delayed the case, in part, because of “one of the silliest things” he’s seen during his time on the bench.

Noah Kuchar, 37, appeared in 35th Circuit Court Thursday morning for a plea hearing with his attorney Jacob Raleigh on a charge of felony charge of delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine.

Raleigh, though, told Stewart his client had retained a different attorney to represent him. Raleigh asked the court to extend the cutoff date for a plea.

“What in the world is your attorney talking about?” Stewart asked Kuchar.

“I talked to my father, who I haven’t seen in many years,” the defendant responded. “I talked to him last week, and he decided to hire a lawyer for me. And he doesn’t know the particulars of the case at all. He was wondering if he could have a week to go over the file and everything.”

“So he asked you to ask me to adjourn for a week?” Stewart asked. “If that’s not the silliest thing I’ve ever heard, it’s got to be close to it. (The new lawyer) isn’t off to a very good start.”

Assistant prosecutor Richard McNally said he had no objection to a delay, and left discretion to the court.

Stewart ruled further proceedings in the case will be pushed back — not because of Kuchar’s request, but because a criminal sexual conduct trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Stewart scheduled Kuchar’s case to resume in December.

Court records indicate prosecutors issued a warrant for Kuchar March 1, and he was arrested March 7.

He apparently posted bond at that time, but did not appear for a March 29 arraignment. He was eventually arrested and arraigned Aug. 14 in 66th District Court before Judge Ward Clarkson. He pleaded not guilty and has been lodged in the Shiawassee County Jail since that time.

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