JEFFERSON — The murder case against Jessie R. Hubbard was in court for the 12th time Monday, Sept. 28, in Ashe County Superior Court, however its future is uncertain following attorney Jak Reeves’s motion for withdrawal from defending Hubbard.
Reeves revealed that after more than two years, a conflict of interest had arisen, meaning he had to withdraw as Hubbard’s attorney. While telling this to the Hon. Michael Duncan, who was presiding, Reeves mentioned that the case was supposed to be “disposed of” at the appearance, referencing Assistant District Attorney Lee Bollinger’s comments about a plea deal he made at the Aug. 31 court date.
Duncan ordered Reeves to reveal more information about the withdrawal in a private meeting, which Bollinger recused himself from. After a brief meeting in the judge’s chambers, Duncan granted the motion for withdrawal, but noted he would not actually make it official until a new attorney is appointed. Duncan added that due to the nature of the case, the decision on who to appoint would have to come down from Raleigh.
Duncan noted a hearing he has in Ashe on Friday, Oct. 2, saying a continuance date can be determined then, with expectations that a new attorney would be appointed by then. Reeves said after the decision that it should be “a while” before the next court date, due to the nature and size of the file.
Hubbard, 61, of Crumpler, is charged with the Aug. 19, 2018, murder of Diane Goss and four counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.
At his court date on Feb. 10, Hubbard was deemed capable to stand trial by Judge Eric Morgan. That came nearly eight months after he was initially deemed incapable to stand trial by doctors from Central Regional Hospital, a state-run psychiatric hospital in Butner.
Less than a month after it was revealed he was deemed incapable, it was revealed Sept. 23, 2019, that Hubbard had been taken from the Ashe County Detention Center to Raleigh for safekeeping, which is done to prisoners as a way to keep either them or those around them from harm, authorities said. Ashe County Sheriff B. Phil Howell said at the time the transport was related to the medications Hubbard was taking.
According to the medical examiner’s report, written by Ashe County medical examiner Stephen Adams and released in March, 2019, Goss died due to blunt force trauma to the back of her head. Adams listed the butt stock of a shotgun found on the scene as the murder weapon.
The murder took place in Hubbard’s apartment on Nathans Creek School Road in Crumpler. According to then-Ashe County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy J.E. “Bucky” Absher, Hubbard was the one who called 911, regarding a break-in at his apartment.
The shotgun at the scene has been identified through a warrant for one of Hubbard’s possession of a firearm by a felon charges.
No activity in the case was made at the legal level until Hubbard was indicted by a grand jury and the case was moved to the superior court level in November 2018.
Ashe Post & Times will continue to provide updates for this story as they are made available.