(NEW YORK) — A Florida public defender is reportedly out of a job after a judge declared a mistrial upon learning of a Facebook posting the lawyer made mocking her own client.
Anya Cintron Stern posted the photo of leopard-print underwear that defendant Fermin Recalde’s family had given him, according to the Miami Herald.
The Hialeah, Fla., man, 40, was on trial for the 2010 death of his girlfriend of two years. Prosecutors say he stabbed his girlfriend twice, allegedly killing her after he saw a love bite on her cheek. His family had brought clean clothes for him to wear in court, including the underwear that Stern photographed, the Herald reported.
Stern, 31, who could not be reached for comment by ABC News, reportedly posted a picture of the underwear on her Facebook page, saying that Recalde’s family believed the underwear was “proper attire for a trial.”
She had also allegedly made another comment on her wall openly questioning her client’s innocence.
Her settings were private, but a “friend” reportedly tipped off the judge, who declared a mistrial. The Miami-Dade Public Defenders office immediately fired her Wednesday. As a public defender, Stern had represented clients who could not afford their own attorney.
Recalde had reportedly tried to fire her and his other public defender several times during his trial. Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez told the Herald that posting humiliating photos undermines the client-lawyer relationship.
It’s unclear when a new lawyer will be assigned or when a new trial date will be set.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Megan McNulty, Deseret News
Chris Isidore, CNN