Attorney appointed for James City County man charged with first-degree murder

Jimmy LaRoue

A James City County man accused of killing his mother will not represent himself at his upcoming trial after all.

Michael Alan Webb, who as recently as Monday had been representing himself in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court during hearings leading up to his trial, will have attorney Christopher Voltin represent him.

Voltin had been Webb’s standby counsel, sitting behind him during court proceedings.

“Mr. Webb wants me to be appointed as attorney instead of being standby counsel,” Voltin told Judge Michael McGinty in court Thursday.

Webb, 35, who is charged with killing his mother, Edna Webb, last May, had won the right to represent himself at a Feb. 21 hearing, and he did so Monday during a two-and-a-half hour motions hearing that featured some at-times testy exchanges between Webb and McGinty.

Webb filed a motion claiming police did not read him his Miranda rights on May 17, the day police found his mother dead in her Brookside Haven townhome. He also filed another motion to suppress evidence police gathered in his mother’s home, arguing police did not have a search warrant.

McGinty ruled against Webb on those motions, as well as on motions for bond and for the murder charge to be dismissed.

McGinty had cautioned Webb during Monday’s hearing that he was trying to argue his case, rather than questioning witnesses and directly addressing his motions. The judge also urged Webb to reconsider having an attorney represent him. During that hearing, Webb said the upcoming trial would be a waste of time, and he had previously stated that he was the best person to represent himself at trial.

“I’m more qualified to address certain issues in my case (than my attorney),” Webb said during a Jan. 24 hearing when McGinty initially denied Webb’s request to represent himself. “I’m going to have more of an interest in my case than anyone else could. I feel nobody else could represent me better than me. … I live and breathe my case.”

With the change in representation the jury trial, which had been set for March 27, will now be May 21-22 in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court.

Webb pleaded not guilty to a charge of first degree murder at his arraignment in January. Police said his mother, Edna Webb, died of blunt force trauma.

LaRoue can be reached by phone at 757-345-2342, by email at or on Twitter @jlaroue.

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