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Article updated: 1/22/2013 5:10 PM

Judge: Waukegan man must hire attorney


A Waukegan man facing 60 years in prison for murder was given one more week to hire an attorney or proceed with one appointed for him by the courts. Zervont Thomas, 20, said he has spoken to a couple of attorneys, and was waiting for a tax return from his family so he can hire an attorney. However, Judge Mark Levitt told Thomas he doesn't time to delay. Previously, Thomas had told Levitt he was unhappy with his court-appointed attorney and wanted to represent himself. Thomas is in jail on $5 million bond on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and armed violence. Police say Thomas stabbed the driver and front seat passenger he was riding with on Grand Avenue in Gurnee in August 2011. Stefan A. Metel, 33, of Round Lake Beach, died, while a 17-year-old victim escaped and was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Thomas is due back in court Jan. 28 with his new attorney.

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