Kingston: Monica Knight fails to retain attorney, prosecutors ready to go to trial

Prosecutors say they’re ready to go to trial against the 18-year-old driver who crashed head-on into a school bus nearly a year ago in Kingston.

Monica Knight of Halifax appeared in court this morning for the second time without an attorney. 

Knight’s father tried speaking out while his daughter was standing before the court. He was also loudly arguing outside the courtroom with court officers and officials about whether or not his daughter qualifies to receive a public defender.   

But the prosecutor explained inside the courtroom that receiving an appointed attorney is based on the annual income of the Knight family. “I believe she doesn’t come close to qualifying and that’s been verified several times,” said Joshua Gedraitis from the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office

The Halifax teen has been represented by two different attorneys since her arraignment last summer—her last attorney withdrew from the case in January after Knight said she was unhappy with her representation. 

She’s been previously warned in court that the case will proceed with or without a defense attorney. So Friday, the prosecutor treated her as if she would be representing herself during the trial. “On the record, I want to state that though I’ve given it to two previous counsels, I am handing a packet of discovery directly to the defendant. She hasn’t waived counsel but I want her to know what the government has. There’s a CD of photographs in there,” said Gedraitis as he gave the packet to Knight

A final pre-trial hearing will be held on April 5th inside Plymouth District Court. A trial date will be scheduled during the hearing.

Knight had three passengers in her vehicle when she collided with the empty school bus on March 30th, 2012. The passengers suffered serious injuries which required intense medical treatment. Eva Lipton of Plympton is still struggling to recover.

Tony Knight (left) arguing with officials inside Plymouth District Court as he stands with Monica (center)

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.