By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

Attempted murder charges will be filed against a Pelican Bay State Prison inmate for stabbing his attorney in court.

Phillip Evans, 30, of Costa Mesa, is accused of picking the lock on his handcuffs and attempting to stab attorney Leroy Davies in Del Norte County court Thursday afternoon.

Evans was first sentenced to prison in 1994 for first degree burglary. His andquot;controlling caseandquot; now is for assault by a prisoner, according to prison officials. His earliest release date for his current charges is February 2009.

andquot;This is a good reason why we prosecute these inmates,andquot; said District Attorney Mike Riese. andquot;When they have a foreseeable release date and they choose to attack their attorney in open court, that's pretty compelling that they are still a danger to society.andquot;

Evans was in court Thursday for a hearing on how he would be restrained in court during trial when the incident occurred.

According to Riese, Davies has not been helpful to investigators.

andquot;Presently, I am disappointed in Mr. Davies' lack of cooperation,andquot; Riese said yesterday. andquot;His comments to the Pelican Bay and DA investigators that he wasn't going to cooperate is somewhat concerning to me.andquot;

When contacted for comment yesterday, Davies' office assistant said the attorney would not be in his office all day. Davies did not immediately return messages. Attorney Rick McClendon handled his cases in court on Friday.

Riese said Davies visited his office Thursday afternoon for an interview and was uncooperative. When asked to surrender some evidence, Riese said Davies refused and made obscene gestures to investigators.

Evidence that was recovered from Davies includes his ink pen, a shirt, a package of cigarettes and folded pieces of paper he had in his pocket, according to Lt. Rawland Swift, public information officer at Pelican Bay.

andquot;Despite his reluctance, I consider this a very serious offense and we will be prosecuting,andquot; said Riese.

Davies is one of several local attorneys who have contracts with the county to represent defendants when they cannot afford their own attorneys.