Stein slay suspect demands new legal team
From left: Natavia Lowery and Thomas Giovanni, a member of Lowery’s legal team
More drama unfolded today in the trial of Natavia Lowery, the former assistant of the late Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Linda Stein, whom she is accused of murdering. Lowery had requested a change of counsel, according to the New York Times, on the grounds that her current legal team, Thomas Giovanni, John Christie and Wilfredo Sta. Ana of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, was “not pursuing a theory or strategy of defense that [she] believe[s] is adequate.” State Supreme Court of Manhattan Judge Richard Carruthers denied the request, after which Lowery’s supporters, including her mother and stepfather, began shouting in protest. Despite Lowery’s complaints, the assistant district attorney on the case, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, said that the defendant was just trying to buy time. “This is nothing more than gamesmanship on the part of an unhappy defendant who sees the writing on the wall,” Illuzzi-Orbon said. Lowery is accused of allegedly bludgeoning to death super-broker Stein in the Elliman agent’s apartment on Oct. 30, 2007.