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Vauhxx Booker ruled ineligible for public defender, but could appeal

Vauhxx Booker Purdy/Cox hearing

(Alex Paul, WTIU/WFIU News)

Vauhxx Booker will have to pay for his own legal representation in future court proceedings related to last year’s incident at Lake Monroe.

Johnson County Superior Court Judge Lance Hamner granted the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office’s request to deny Booker a public defender.

READ MORE: GoFundMe could cost Booker public defender in Lake Monroe case

The Public Defender’s Office had filed a motion earlier in the week saying Booker “may not meet the definition of indigency” needed for a public defender.

After Booker went public with his story last summer, his friends started a GoFundMe that has raised close to $36,000 for his medical bills, day-to-day costs and legal fees stemming from the lake incident.

Booker made national news after he took to Facebook detailing what he described as an attempted lynching. He says a group of white men jumped him and threatened to hang him as he was celebrating the Fourth of July at Lake Monroe.

His alleged attackers, Sean Purdy and Jerry Cox, were charged following the incident. Purdy was charged with felony criminal confinement, battery and intimidation; Cox received felony charges of aiding criminal confinement and battery, along with misdemeanor charges of intimidation and battery.

Booker was charged with misdemeanor trespass and felony battery for his involvement in the incident after he withdrew from a restorative justice process between him, Purdy and Cox.

During his initial hearing last month, Booker told Hamner he was unemployed and had less than $500 in savings.

Booker can ask the court to review the decision to deny him a public defender, potentially making him eligible.

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