(CBS/KCTV) KANSAS CITY - A local Kansas City lawyer who has publicly decried having his clients speak with police has joined the legal team for Debbie Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, the parents of missing Kansas City infant Lisa Irwin.
Joseph Tacopina, Irwin and Bradley's New York-based lawyer, announced Tuesday that defense attorney John Picerno would be joining the team.
Picerno is replacing Kansas City attorney Cyndy Short who was forced off the case late last week, reports CBS affiliate KCTV.
In an interview with the Kansas Star last week, Picerno said the thought of putting his clients in a room with police officers makes him nervous
"My own view is that my clients should never talk to police," Picerno reportedly told the newspaper. "I tell them, 'The prisons are full of people who talked to the police. The police are going to do what they are going to do, with or without your cooperation and your statement.' "
According to KCTV, Tacopina claimed in Tuesday's statement that the focus on the parents' and their lawyers has been harmful, saying, "the focus needs to shift back on the investigation and hopeful recovery of Lisa, both alive and well. In the past week, we have observed potentially vital information regarding possible sightings of Lisa, corroborated by multiple and independent witnesses, take a backseat to announcements of witness meetings with law enforcement and attorney press conferences." Tacopina continued, "The family believes that these distractions shift the focus away from where it should be placed."
The 10-month-old infant was reported missing from her crib in the family's home four weeks ago.