Friedlund Lawyer Resigns From Case

Published On: Sep 08 2011 01:50:24 PM PDT   Updated On: Jul 19 2011 06:49:30 AM PDT
COLVILLE, Wash. -

John Friedlund, the man charged with criminal mistreatment of 106-year-old Frances Swan, was back in court Tuesday for a hearing related to his case.

In court Tuesday Friedlund's attorney resigned due to conflict of interest, meaning Friedlund will now have to hire new counsel. During that time he could also find himself facing new charges. The Stevens County Sheriff's Office is looking into the possibility that Friedlund was taking money from Swan.

"That's going on at this time and I really can't give you an amount or location but we do have detectives working on the financial end of that investigation," Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen said.

Back in June Friedlund was Swan's caretaker when court documents say detectives were investigating him on animal cruelty charges. Deputies say the home on the property where Friedlund was taking care of Swan was filled with garbage, feces and rotting food.

When deputies went to talk with the bed-ridden Swan she asked them to feed her, saying she hadn't been fed since the day before. She was taken from the home and placed in a nursing home in Colville.

Friedlund said Tuesday he is completely innocent of all charges, including the five animal cruelty charges he is facing. He says for the last 50 years he considered Swan to be part of his family.

Friedlund will be back in court August 2nd if he finds a new lawyer. His trial is scheduled for October.