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Defendants in tax case move toward trial in N.H.

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Associated Press / December 8, 2007

CONCORD, N.H. - One defendant will represent himself and another will keep his lawyer as the case of four men charged with helping convicted tax evaders Ed and Elaine Brown moves toward trial.

Judge George Singal expressed misgivings but consented yesterday to Daniel Riley's request to represent himself, with an attorney on standby. He questioned Riley seriously about his understanding of the charges, his rights, and court proceedings, and he said a lawyer could be reappointed later if necessary.

"I think it is unwise for you to try to defend yourself," Singal said to Riley, who faces four felony counts and a possible life sentence if convicted.

Riley is charged with conspiring against US officers, conspiring against the government, being an accessory after the fact, and possessing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence. He is one of four men accused of helping the Browns avoid capture by US Marshals while holed up at their home in Plainfield.

Another suspect, Robert Wolffe, initially had been scheduled to plead guilty in the case; but the subject of the hearing changed after Wolffe, of Randolph, Vt., submitted paperwork to fire his court-appointed lawyer, Paul Garrity of Londonderry.

Singal withdrew Wolffe's request to dismiss Garrity. Wolffe, 50, is charged with conspiring against officers, conspiring against the government and being an accessory after the fact.

The trial is to begin Jan. 28.

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