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Defense attorneys in Coffey case react to plea offers

Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-08 13:41:02-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A day after news of plea offers for all nine FSU students charged in the hazing death of Andrew Coffey, we're hearing from one of their attorneys.

The attorney for Luke Kluttz wouldn't go into specifics, but said he was "caught off-guard" by the State Attorney's decision to offer plea options for his client and the others.

Kluttz and four other students are scheduled to start trial on Jun. 11. The other four students waived their rights to a speedy trial.

Some of the students' legal teams met with Campbell this morning to discuss issues with what's called discovery or evidence the state needs to give the defense.

"I'm not even looking at any dates except the trial date, and I have great concerns on a case that's set for a speedy trial and then making a plea offer with only about a third of the information," said Don Pumphrey, Attorney for Luke Kluttz. "I just don't think that's a prudent thing for anyone."

Campbell set a deadline of April 1 to accept the plea offers, but the Brett Birmingham's attorney says lawyers they've talked to have only gotten a portion of what's called discovery.

That's the reason they met with him Thursday.

"We're still not equipped to make a decision as to whether we should accept that or not," said Fred Conrad. "I still believe my client is not guilty of third-degree felony hazing, causing the death of Mr. Coffey, and I haven't seen evidence to convince me otherwise."

We spoke with Campbell briefly Thursday afternoon, but he declined to comment any further.