Man facing drug charges wants own attorney

COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City man charged with several drug-related crimes was in court Monday morning and announced he was hiring his own attorney.Wayne Lynn Weaver, 40, who faces counts of dealing in and manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, paraphernalia and controlled substances as well as failure to comply, is giving up his public defender, Brad Voelz.Weaver is also accused of possession of two or more precursors with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.Weaver was in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday for a pre-trial conference.“He intends to hire his own attorney,” said Voelz.Circuit Court Judge James Heuer asked Weaver if family members had agreed to pay for the attorney. Weaver told the judge they had.No trial has yet been set and Weaver is currently incarcerated in the Whitley County Jail.Weaver was arrested Nov. 16 after a traffic stop by a sheriff’s deputy. Police say Weaver already had an outstanding warrant and was immediately taken into custody, suspected of operating a methamphetamine lab.Heuer set the next pre-trial conference for Jan. 18 at 9 a.m. He ordered Voelz to remain as Weaver’s attorney until the new attorney files his appearance.