November 17, 2010 5:08 PM
Beau Yarbrough

VICTORVILLE • The long-in-coming trial of former Hesperia mayor Tad Honeycutt and Steven Cox will likely be pushed back even further, after the untimely death of Cox’s defense attorney.

San Bernardino County Public Defender Earl Wade Shinder, 60, who represented Cox, died on Sunday.

He was the second public defender to handle Cox’s case.

Cox and Honeycutt face a total of 117 felony charges between them related to alleged illegal transactions between the California Charter Academy and a for-profit subsidiary run by Honeycutt.

Earlier this year, the case was moved from the Victorville courthouse to Fontana, after the third and final felony court judge in Victorville disqualified himself, because of ties to Honeycutt.

Shinder was next scheduled to represent Cox in court at a pre-trial hearing on Thursday.

And so, for a third time, Cox’s case will change hands and go to a new defense attorney.

“Somebody from the Rancho Cucamonga (Public Defender’s) office will take over the case,” said Chief Deputy Public Defender George Thompson. “They’ll be starting from scratch.”

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