Man accused of killing and torturing co-worker appears in court


MONROE COUNTY, Pa. – A motion by the Monroe County district attorney’s office is alleging ineffective counsel for one man accused of murder.

Michael Horvath, 51, appeared Tuesday before Monroe County Judge Margherita Worthington in regards to a motion filed alleging ineffective counsel of his defense team. Horvath is currently being represented by public defenders Chandra Bleice, Jason Labar and Chief Public Defender James Gregor.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Rakaczewski said that Bleice complained about being overworked on the case and not getting any help from Gregor. He said that Bleice didn’t know if she was able to handle a capital case. Bleice disagreed and said that she was fine with taking on the capital case and has no problem.

“We never said she couldn’t handle it,” Gregor said.

Rakaczewski also said that Horvath had written three letters stating that his legal team was “not doing their job,” failing to meet with him regularly and that there was a lack of communication.

Rakaczewski emphasized that this poses problems for Horvath’s representation, potentially having to change out Horvath’s legal team.

“We don’t want it to be an issue,” Rakaczewski said. “The defense should be aware of what’s going on.”

Worthington said that Rakaczewski didn’t have the necessary case law to help support the motion to dismiss Horvath’s legal counsel. An oral argument will be scheduled, according to Worthington.

Horvath is accused of killing Holly Grim in 2013. Grim and Horvath had worked together at Allen Organ. Horvath allegedly hid in a shed at Grim’s home in Lower Macungie where he kidnapped her. According to authorities, he brought her back to his home in Ross Township in Monroe County where he tortured and killed her. Some of her remains were found on Horvath's property, but not until years later.

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