A New York-born man who pleaded guilty to coercing an underage girl to pose for child pornography with poisonous snakes down South wants to withdraw his guilty plea.
John Joseph Maillet, 48, pleaded guilty Sept. 8 in U.S. District Court in south Mississippi to one count of production of child pornography. A plea agreement in the case called for Maillet's sentence to be no fewer than 15 years in prison, and possibly as many as 30.
In motions filed Monday, Maillet said his public defender, Stephen Dick, was not effective and asked to withdraw the plea and go to trial.
Dick also filed a motion to withdraw from the case, saying Maillet made a request that "has caused irreconcilable differences" between them and that their relationship is "shattered beyond repair."
It's not clear what that request was. Dick said he would not comment on pending cases when contacted Tuesday by The Associated Press.
The court did not immediately rule on the motions.
Maillet, of Port Jervis, N.Y., was living in Carriere, Miss., where the alleged crime took place, when he was arrested in August. His being held without bond. His sentencing hearing was scheduled for Dec. 8.
FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden has said there were 41 venomous snakes in Maillet's home when agents executed a search warrant in 2009. When they returned Aug. 10 of this year, shortly after Maillet's arrest, there were only 12 snakes remaining. Agents called in an expert who removed the remaining snakes from the property.
It's not clear what happened to the other snakes.