HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Chudy Nsobundu appeared in court Friday separate from his wife in the court case involving allegations that they held a woman in slave-like conditions in their home.
Chudy Nsobundu He was supposed to present his attorney to the judge, but claimed he hadn't finalized hiring one.
Tuesday, the judge told both Chudy, and his wife Sandra Nsobundu, the couple they must hire different attorneys. Joan Nwuli had initially been hired to represent both husband and wife.
Prosecutors say both are facing charges that could send them to prison for two decades.
Chudy Nsobundu said he intended to hire James Austin but hadn't retained the attorney because he hadn't had time since he was released. Austin happened to be downstairs in a cafeteria, so the judge asked a U.S. Marshal to bring him into the courtroom.
Austin said if hired, he would call the courthouse by 4pm Friday to confirm.
If Nsobundu does not hire an attorney, he will be back in court Tuesday morning. If he does hire an attorney, he will return Thursday morning for a probable cause hearing.
He had nothing to say, leaving the courtroom with his eldest daughter, Chinelo Nsobundu.
"This is a serious allegation," said Ruben Perez, Assistant U.S. Attorney. "Obviously, we take it very seriously. We are trying our best to make sure that everybody is protected we work hard to make sure people are protected from this kind of heinous behavior."