A murder defendant’s attorneys wrangling over fee cuts from the agency that governs public defenders has led them to be held in contempt, ordered to spend 24 hours in jail and pay a $500 fine.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge William M. Ray levied the punishment Tuesday when the lawyers for accused murderer Donald Steve Sanders refused to proceed with motions because of an alleged conflict of interest with the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council and its Capital Defender Office. Ray freed lawyer Walt Britt and co-counsel Douglas A. Ramseur, a Capital Defender staff attorney, on recognizance bonds.

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