Roksana Sikorski case: Plea deal offered; Defense attorney taken off case
DETROIT – The Local 4 Defenders have learned that a plea deal has been offered in case of a Plymouth Township teen accused of plotting to kill her family.
The deal requires Roksanna Sikorski to plead guilty to attempted murder as an adult, something her defense attorney fought against because Sikorski was 15 at the time of the alleged crime and comes from a troubled childhood. However, the Defenders have also learned that her defense attorney, Leslie Posner, is now off the case.
Wayne County Judge Bill Callahan removed Posner from the case, citing a conflict of interest between Sikorski's parents paying Posner to defend their daughter and the fact that Sikorski was accused of plotting to kill her parents.
"When I got there, he had already made up his mind to remove me. He asked me to recuse myself and I said, ‘Well, I'm not recusing myself,'" Posner said.
Posner said there was never a conflict of interest, because she had never discussed any substantive matters about the case with Sikorski's parents, and all of the involved parties knew not to.
"They had paid me, but I am totally and only responsible to Roksana for the representation," Posner said.
Another reason Posner was taken off the case was over whether she qualified as a court-appointed attorney. Posner said she told the judge the family is out of money and needs public defender assistance. The judge agreed, but declared Posner ineligible as a qualified court-appointed attorney.
Sikorski's parents aren't happy about it.
"This is just another blow to her (Roksana). I mean, it's terrible, and I would like her (Posner) back on the case," said Roksana Sikorski's mother, Loraine Sikorski.
Prosecutors say Roksana Sikorski used a knife to cut her 12-year-old brother's neck and tried to stab her younger sister on Oct. 17 in their Plymouth Township home. According to Roksana Sikorski and the prosecution, her 23-year-old then-boyfriend, Michael Rivera, was outside the house sending text messages to her on how to fatally stab the family members.
View: Text messages exchanged between Sikorski, Rivera (**WARNING: Content may be graphic for some viewers**)
Roksana Sikorski and Rivera are slated to go to trial as adults on charges of assault with intent to murder and conspiracy to premeditated murder.
"I'm very disappointed. I'm curious how a 15-year-old can be tried as an adult when the same person couldn't buy a car, can't buy a can of beer, couldn't buy a gun. Yet, when it's in the best interest of the court system, they are suddenly an adult," said Roksana Sikorski's father, Jeff Sikorski.
Posner argued that Roksana Sikorski was manipulated by Rivera, who allegedly sexually assaulted her and threatened to kill her if she didn't listen to him.
"If I didn't do what I did, I would get killed. Not only would I get killed, but he would make me watch as he killed my family," Roksana Sikorski said during an interview obtained by the Defenders.
Roksana Sikorski was abused as a child in Poland and sent to an orphanage to live until Loraine and Jeff Sikorski adopted her, her brother and sister.
Posner said she doesn't want her departure to be another broken bond Roksana Sikorski has to go through.
"When she realized that I had been taken away from her, because I was standing real close to her, I put my hand around her because she was scared and didn't know what's really going on. He (the judge) said, "Ms. Posner, do not touch her. Get your hands off her. She's not your client anymore,'" Posner said. "At that point, she looked as me and she had tears in her eyes and she was shaking. She said, ‘I can't take his anymore. I can't take this anymore.' And then I started to cry."
Roksana Sikorski's new attorney is Matthew Evans.
Posner said she rejected the prosecution's offer to have Roksana Sikorski plead guilty as an adult to a 15 to 30 year prison sentence, because it's unacceptable.
"If they just took half a minute to see, yes, she's troubled, but she has good reason to be troubled. She can be fixed. She is very intelligent and she's engaging. She's basically a really nice girl whose just been led down a very bad path, some by her own decisions, mostly by her preconditioning. All could be repaired by experts," Posner said. "Instead, Kym Worthy wants her in prison as quickly as possible. And let me tell you, the team that was appointed today will do exactly that."
Posner said she will ask Callahan to put her back on the case.
Because of a gag order, Evans cannot talk about the case.
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