TAMPA, Fla. -- The man accused of killing a father of two in New Tampa in June now has a new attorney.

  • Mikese Morse, 30, now has new lawyer
  • Morse accused of killing father of 2

Mikese Morse, 30, told a judge during his pre-detention hearing Friday morning that he wants Attorney James Smith to represent him.

The public defender office wanted to keep Morse as a client, but the judge ruled against it.

Morse is accused of hitting and killing Pedro Aguerreberry, 42, on June 24 by deliberately hitting him with his car.

He was arrested and charged with first-degree premeditated murder. The former college athlete made social media posts threatening to kill someone around the time of the attack.

His family has said repeatedly that Morse suffers from mental illness and attempts they made to get him help over the last decade have failed because “the system is broken.”

“He has mental health issues,” said Michael Morse, father of Mikese. “He should be in a mental health facility where he should get the proper treatment.”

Attorney James Smith agreed.

“The tragic example of this case should open our eyes to one important fact: We have to start funding treatment centers for people,” he said.

Morse was released from Gracepoint Medical Center in June after his fourth Baker Act.

His arraignment is slated for July 13.