The Missouri State Public Defender’s Office in Springfield says it’s too busy to handle several cases, including a recent homicide at a mobile home park southwest of the Springfield city limits.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the head of Springfield’s public defender office sent a letter last week saying attorneys are carrying excessive caseloads and cannot take on the case of Dameon Clinghan at this time. The 24-year-old Clinghan has been charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 7 killing of Tyler Rambo.

The public defender’s office has recently sent similar letters in other southwest Missouri cases.

Public defenders elsewhere also are informing judges they can’t handle more cases after a Columbia public defender was put on probation for neglecting clients while dealing with illness and a heavy caseload.

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