Inmate accused in Wake Forest kidnapping case seeks new attorney

Kelvin Melton

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An inmate at the center of a high-profile kidnapping case said in federal court Monday that he wants a new attorney.

Kelvin Melton is accused of masterminding the 2014 kidnapping of Frank Janssen of Wake Forest. Janssen’s daughter is an assistant district attorney in Wake County. She helped convict Melton of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill.

Kelvin Melton
PHOTOS: Wake Forest father kidnapped

Authorities said Melton used a cell phone that had been smuggled into Polk Correction center in Butner.

Janssen was kidnapped from his home and later rescued in Atlanta.

In court, Melton said a lot of evidence is being withheld from him and he doesn’t trust his attorneys.
When Judge James Dever expressed concern that Melton’s attorneys have already spent 19 months working on the case, Melton said, “At the end of the day, it’s me in isolation while this case is being drawn out.”

But ultimately, the judge ruled the issues appear more procedural than a damaged attorney-client relationship, with the fact the attorneys have about 25,000 pages of evidence related to the case.

And related to all that evidence, the defense attorneys are asking for the trial to be delayed from February to June.

The judge has yet to rule.

Defense attorneys also are frustrated the prosecution is not providing copies of testimony from certain inmates because of fear for those inmates safety.

The attorneys have to drive from Charlotte to Raleigh to review that material in person.

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