Defendant gets new attorney

GREENFIELD — A man accused of burning down his Greenfield home has a new attorney.

This week, Hancock County Superior Court 1 Judge Terry Snow approved a request from defense attorney John Merlau to step down as Rowe’s counsel. 

Rowe was scheduled to take a plea agreement last month and backed out at the last minute, choosing instead to take his case to trial. At that time, he asked the judge to appoint him a new public defender, but the request was denied.

On Wednesday, Merlau told Snow it would not be in Rowe’s best interest for him to continue representing the defendant, who faces a Level 4 felony charge of arson after police said he burned his home down.

The judge granted Merlau’s request and assigned Cody Coombs of Greenfield as Rowe’s public defender.

A trial has been set for May 16.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or