There aren't criminal attorneys that will take a pro-bono case when there are public defenders to do it.
It isn't that the court appointed doesn't have your friend's interest in mind, it is that he has 100 or more other cases, and has to deal with them on the days they come up in court.
There is nothing going on with your friend's case - the family will have to wait until the court dates, like everyone else who can't afford an attorney that can hold their hand.
If he truly is innocent - it will come out in trial.
Harsh reality,and I'm sorry to have to tell you it. Your friend is going to have to reevaluate his life and his friends so that when he does get out, he stays away from the life that has led him to be in the position he is in.
Basically when a trust fund is setup a sum of money is put into an bank account in someones name and held there until the person named reaches a certain age, like 18 or a certain condition is met, like they graduate school, or get married or whatever the person setting up the fund wants.
Trust funds can be very good, as they ensure the money will be there when the child turns 18, etc., but there are disadvantages. One disadvantage is that it's a legal procedure, so your aunt will have to pay an independent person, like the lawyer a lot of money to manage the fund and this would be a significant amount of money over 18 years. In some cases this is the sole reason lawyers recommend them. Injury lawyers aren't know for their goodness. Another disadvantage is that if the fund is set up to give the money when the child turns 18 and the child is involved in an accident at 17 and needs the money for medical care, they won't be able to get it. If your Aunt is smart, she may be able to request a clause for a situation like this; but again getting the money early would require legal action that's going to cost someone money and it's unlikely that your Aunt will be able to think of a clause for every situation that might come up. The money may be needed early to save her own life or even yours.
I was going to set one up for my kids when I divorced, but talked to an attorney whose only involvement was to give me advice and fortunately he talked me out of it.
If the settlement is a Million or more, I'd say she'll need a trust fund. If the settlement is a few hundred thousand or less, the cost of maintaining the trust fund will eat it up.
Lets pray for the child's recovery.