In the case of missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis, the attorney hired to represent her stepfather, Derion Vence, filed a motion to withdraw as his counsel.
According to Harris County District Clerk court records, Thomas H. Burton III filed a motion on May 29 to withdraw as Vence's legal counsel for various reasons.
The website for the District Clerks Office states Burton filed the motion because “Vence has failed to comply with the terms of the employment agreement with Burton.
“Vence and Vence's family have failed to make payments due under the contract,” the motion read. “The withdrawal is not sought for delay, but that Vence might be represented by counsel of his choice, and/or court-appointed counsel as he [is] indigent.”
Burton was hired as Vence’s attorney after he was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence on May 11.
It remains unclear if Vence will hire another attorney or the courts will appoint an attorney for him.
Before his arrest, Vence told police Maleah was abducted by three men while he was driving her and her 1-year-old half brother to pick up their mother, Brittany Bowens, from the airport.
During a search of the apartment Vence and Bowens shared, investigators found blood matching Maleah’s DNA and cadaver dogs detected human composition remains in his car.
Maleah has been missing for nearly a month. Although police no longer believe she is alive, they are still searching for her body.