Judge approves change of attorney for former Spokane officer, rape sentencing delayed

Judge approves change of attorney for former Spokane officer, rape sentencing delayed

UPDATE: A judge has approved Ennis’ substitution of counsel request. His new attorney has asked for more time before his sentencing, which has now been postponed until June 8.

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A former Spokane police sergeant who was found guilty of rape has moved to change his attorney, delaying a sentencing hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

A jury convicted Gordon Ennis of second-degree rape in March for an incident involving a female officer. That officer said she was passed out at a party, and she woke up to Ennis assaulting her.

Ennis’ sentencing was set for Wednesday afternoon. During that hearing, Ennis’ attorney, Rob Cossey, told the court that his client had asked for a change in representation going forward, which would delay his sentencing.

Ennis requested Mark Vovos, who represented former police guild president John Gately. Gately was charged with criminal assistance for allegedly notifying Ennis of an impending rape investigation against him. He was tried in 2016 but the jury deadlocked. Prosecutors opted not to retry the misdemeanor case.

In court Wednesday, prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald said that Gately was on the state’s witness list to testify during Ennis’ trial, and that Vovos was present for a pre-trial meeting with Gately. Gately invoked the 5th Amendment and did not testify in the trial.

Fitzgerald asked the court to set a hearing to weigh what she described as potential conflicts of interest, were Vovos to represent Ennis, saying it would put the state at a disadvantage.

Spokane Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno agreed, setting that hearing for May 11. Ennis’ sentencing has been tentatively rescheduled for May 25.