Three Lawyers Leave Will Hayden's Defense Team, "Lot Of Evidence" In Case

Former “Sons of Guns” reality television star Will Hayden had three lawyers from his defense team released yesterday, and a new attorney appointed as his rape case moved forward:

The only development in his case Thursday was that the three private lawyers who were representing Hayden were taken off the case.

“I’m releasing the dream team,” State District Judge Mike Erwin said, to laughs from most of the lawyers in the room.

Frank Holthaus, Steven Moore and Franz Borghardt had been advising Hayden since his arrest last August. He was originally charged in East Baton Rouge Parish with aggravated rape of a child. Since then, additional charges of aggravated rape and forcible rape were filed.

Both aggravated rape charges in the Baton Rouge case stem from accusations that Hayden raped a young girl, who was then 11 or 12 years old, multiple times between March 2013 and August 2014. The forcible rape charge stems from accusations dating back to 1991 that surfaced when a woman came forward following the initial charges. He also faces charges of aggravated rape and indecent behavior with a juvenile in Livingston Parish.

At least four victims have accused Hayden of sexual misconduct, leading to the charges in two jurisdictions. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Additionally, Hayden’s daughter and his costar on the Discovery Chanel TV show, Stephanie Hayden-Ford, told Dr. Phil during an appearance on the celebrity psychologist’s talk show that her father touched her inappropriately when she was 12-years-old. She is now in her 30s.

Holthaus said the trio stopped working Hayden’s case because “continued representation was unsupportable.” He would not elaborate on the meaning of “unsupportable.” He did say a “broad spectrum” of conditions under which they took Hayden on as a client “didn’t pan out.” Those conditions, he said, are confidential.

Erwin on Thursday appointed Susan Hebert from the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Defender’s Office to take Hayden’s case.

I would think that the definition of “unsupportable” is an obvious one; Hayden has no income, and cannot afford to pay his “dream team” of high-priced lawyers.

One of the departing lawyers, Frank Holthaus, made an interesting comment to reporters.

Holthaus couldn’t say much about the case since Hayden is no longer his client but did remark about the amount of evidence in the case.

“There’s a lot of evidence in this case,” he said.

Asked if the evidence was in support of or against Hayden, Holthaus said there’s a large amount of evidence the public hasn’t yet heard about “on both sides.”

From a pragmatic standpoint, I think it would be most rational to assume that “a lot of evidence” works against Hayden. Typically sex crimes hinge on “he said, she said” allegations, especially with charges based on older events where fresh evidence might long ago be compromised

Hayden will next appear in court on October 17, which will be his first appearance with his public defender.

Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET