PUNTA GORDA -
Melissa Harding-Jones' lawyer is staying on her case. But before the case moves forward, a judge will decide whether taxpayers will foot part of the bill for her defense.
Wednesday, Harding-Jones and her lawyer Robert Barrar told a judge they're moving forward together.
"She is relying on me to defend her," Barrar said.
It was just this Monday that Barrar asked off the case. But Wednesday, he wouldn't go into detail on what type of "threats" almost derailed them.
"I'm not going to make any further comment on that," he said.
Instead, he painted a picture of what a trial for Harding-Jones may look like.
She was arrested in connection to the 1999 disappearance of young Pilar Rodriguez.
Barrar says he believes the state will argue that Harding-Jones didn't prevent her then boyfriend, Keith Wilson, from beating the child to death.
For her defense, Barrar will have to hire experts. And Wednesday, they asked the court to pay for them.
In open court, Harding-Jones testified that she's broke. And her husband, Neil Harding-Jones, argued the properties he owns are worthless.
But the state argues the husband's annual salary of $70,000 should be considered.
"What is his is hers. What's hers is his," said prosecutor Daniel Feinberg.
Barrar argued that the experts will determine whether Harding-Jones' diabetes affected her thinking and address whether Wilson affected Harding-Jones' decision.
"The battered woman syndrome is not applicable in this case," said Barrar.
And it's still uncertain when this case may go to trail
"We've entered a plea of not guilty. Until the case is resolved, that is our plea," Barrar said.