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San Bruno Pipeline Blast ‘Gawker’ Gets New Lawyer

Paul Anthony Lee, 35, of Millbrae, is accused of injuring a cop and leading authorities on a high-speed freeway chase the night of the San Bruno fire. A presiding judge on Thursday granted his request to hire a new lawyer.

A convicted felon accused of assaulting a police officer and leading authorities on a in the immediate aftermath of the will be represented by a lawyer of his choosing when his case goes to trial later this year.

Paul Anthony Lee, 35, of Millbrae, allegedly ran over a police officer's foot at the start of a pursuit that involved San Bruno and Daly City police, sheriff's deputies and the CHP.

Acting criminal presiding Judge Robert Foiles on Thursday approved Lee’s request to hire attorney Joshua Bentley to replace court appointed attorney Raymond Buenaventura. Lee met Bentley outside the courtroom, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Lee told police he was from San Francisco and had arrived on the scene to view the blaze but failed to comply with orders to turn off his bike and produce identification.

Lee, who was on probation at the time of the arrest, was sentenced to state prison for 2 ½ years in 2005 for attempted kidnapping and two years for possession of a controlled substance in 2009, according to court records.

Lee, a for a court appearance earlier this year, is free on $100,000 property bail. His trial date is set for July 9.

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