An Ohio man who was scheduled for trial last Friday on charges of breaking and entering and aggravated assault in Greene County last August fired his second attorney who was appointed after he fired the first two months ago.
Matthew Paul Serri, 39, who is from Ohio but was staying in Greene County, was scheduled for trial on Aug. 23 with Circuit Court Judge Claude Worrell presiding. Serri, who was most recently represented by Scott Puryear, requested a new attorney. Puryear was appointed to represent Serri after he fired his first court-appointed lawyer in a similar fashion on his June 4 trial date.
Puryear made a motion Friday to be removed as counsel, stating that he was “gravely concerned” that Serri didn’t have “confidence in [his] abilities.”
Serri described the reason for removing Puryear as “irreconcilable differences.”
Judge Worrell granted to motion for what will be Serri’s third new attorney. As of press time, a new attorney had not yet been appointed or a new court date set.
Serri faces charges of felony malicious assault causing serious bodily injury and two counts of felony breaking and entering at night to commit a felony. He is also facing felony shoplifting and misdemeanor trespassing charges.
A second person charged in connection with the assault, Rikki Lynn Harper, 36, of Ruckersville is expected back in Greene County Circuit Court on Oct. 15. Harper is facing one felony malicious assault causing serious bodily injury charge, one count of felony breaking and entering at night to commit a felony and one count of felony shoplifting. She is also charged with one felony count of petit larceny for an April 2018 incident for allegedly stealing a cell phone from a gas station.
According to court documents, the pair broke into a home where they “maliciously wound[ed] or cause[d] bodily injury” to the victim with intent to “maim, disfigure, disable or kill, and the victim thereby being severely and permanently injured.” The victim sustained serious injuries, according to a release from the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, and was transported to the University of Virginia Hospital in serious condition.
On the same day as the assault, court documents allege that Serri and Harper then stole electronic equipment and food items from Walmart.