Hamilton man charged in girlfriend’s slaying asks for time to hire fifth attorney

Suspect declared competent for trial in case where victim was stabbed more than 50 times.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A man accused of killing his longtime girlfriend last fall in their Hamilton home says he just needs one more week to hire an attorney after nixing four previous lawyers.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer McElfresh gave Toby Madden eight additional days to retain counsel, but made it clear in Wednesday’s hearing a trial date would be set on Sept. 28 and a new court-appointed attorney would be on hand to proceed if Madden failed to retain one.

Madden is charged with murder for the Oct. 11, 2022 stabbing death of Rachelle Brewsaugh on Parrish Avenue. Brewsaugh suffered more than 50 wounds, according to prosecutors.

Madden was arrested on a drug charge after the homicide and was indicted in December for murder and felonious assault in Brewsaugh’s slaying. He is being held in the Butler County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

The 51-year-old initially hired an attorney, but parted ways two months later, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Since then, three court appointed attorneys, including one with him in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday, have withdrawn from the case.

McElfresh ordered an evaluation for competency to stand trial after his seemingly volatile conflicts with the defense attorneys. Madden wrote letters to the judge with his complaints about representation.

After reviewing the psychological evaluation report, McElfresh declared Madden competent at an August hearing.

Madden said last month his family is trying to hire a new attorney and he asked for three weeks to do so. He was scheduled to go trial last month, but that was cancelled when his fourth attorney requested to withdraw.

Conflicts with attorneys apparently began when Madden wanted Brewsbaugh’s body exhumed and re-autopsied. He lost the motion, which was denied by the judge, but McElfresh did approve funds for a defense pathology expert to review the findings.

Madden’s fourth attorney, Keith Fricker, filed to withdraw after a visit to see his client on July 10. Fricker said in the motion that Madden refused to speak with and cooperate with him.

“The defendant verbally stated that he no longer wants (Fricker) to represent him and no longer trusts (him),” that attorney said in the motion.

At the July 10 visit, Fricker said after refusing to speak with him, when exiting the interview room, Madden “made a gesture” toward him.

Brewsaugh, 50, was found dead inside the home in the 1200 block of Parrish Avenue. Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Brad Burress said in court documents that Dr. Russell Uptegrove, the pathologist who performed the autopsy for the Butler County Coroner’s Office, determined the woman died of multiple stab wounds.

Uptegrove found approximately 55 wounds to Brewsaugh’s head, chest and abdomen, including puncture wounds to the heart, according to court documents. Brewsaugh did not have any drugs in her system at the time of her death.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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