Murder defendant gets new attorneys

New attorneys for murder defendant Michael Lafler will have four weeks to file motions before the case is again set for trial.

St. Joseph County Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman granted Lafler’s motion to use Kalamazoo law firm of Levine and Levine.

The 35-year-old Colon man was held after his arrest on a $1 million bond for the October 2021 death of his girlfriend, Chelsea Wallen, 33. The case was scheduled for trial last week before the change of counsel.

According to police reports, emergency medical responders were called to Lafler’s Abbott Street home in Colon. Lafler indicated Wallen suffered a heart attack and he could not resuscitate her.

An autopsy ruled the death a homicide by asphyxia/strangulation.

Prosecuting attorney David Marvin listed 31 witnesses in the case, including experts from the Western Michigan University Stryker Medical School.

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