MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A lawyer for a Decatur man sentenced to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing his 15-year-old girlfriend says his client has changed his mind about the plea.

Bernandino Matias was sentenced in February. Since then his attorney, Paul Holland, filed a motion to remove himself from the case and subsequently filed a request to withdraw Matias’ guilty plea.

In the document requesting the plea withdrawal, Holland claims Matias now has a ‘viable defense’ for the murder charge.

In 2019, police told News 19 that Matias cut his girlfriend’s throat before fleeing to Knoxville. When he was extradited back to Alabama, police say he confessed to killing the teenage girl and threatened to kill her family and take his own life.

Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel, who is not connected to this case, says the likelihood of a judge granting the plea withdrawal is slim to none.

“You see it where people filing motions to withdraw their guilty pleas if they don’t get the sentence that they thought they were going to get,” he said. “It’s not common at all that it would be granted. There is an extensive colloquy between the judge and the defendant before the judge will accept a plea of guilty”

McDaniel said the process is supposed to make sure the defendant is fully aware of the decision they’re about to make.

“They go through all the defendant’s rights, the lawyer has to sign a document saying that they went over it with the defendant,” he said. ” Now, the issue is, is there any to anything that went on in the colloquy that the defendant did not understand.”

English is not Matias’ first language. News 19 was in court when Matias entered his blind plea and an interpreter was present. The same interpreter attended Matias’ sentencing hearing.

Morgan County Circuity Judge Charles Elliott has set a June 27 motion hearing on the request.