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Defending self in stalking case, man denied dozen subpoenas

Published October 9, 2013 4:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

He walked into the courtroom carrying a manila envelope filled with documents. His ankles were shackled, his hands cuffed.

In a matter of moments, it became clear that the man, who is defending himself against a litany of felony charges, had subpoenaed nearly a dozen people — from the alleged victim and her parents to lawyers, detectives, a victims advocate and even a bailiff in the 3rd District Court — to testify on his behalf.

Everyone and their mother, it seemed, got a subpoena.

It took the judge an hour to sort through them, and almost all were shot down.

The defendant, who is defending himself after firing his public defender, made a fervent defense of each, citing state law and arguing with prosecutors.

Seated in the gallery, spectators began to whisper: "Who is this guy?"

He calls himself "a man in chains."

This man is defending himself against several felony charges including tampering with a witness. He was originally charged with assault, stalking and retaliating against a victim for a 2012 attack on his ex-girlfriend that, police said, culminated with him forcing the woman to sign documents asking the court to dismiss a stalking injunction she had previously filed against him.

The papers were submitted to the court smeared with the woman's blood, charges allege.

But on Monday, the man was trying to get "critical" information out of several people he accuses of conspiring against him, including victim's advocates and a battered women's organization that, he said, profits off of cases like his.

Among those he hoped to drag onto the witness stand and question under oath were two local radio journalists, who had written a story about the case more than a year ago.

In the story, which was also published online, the reporter details how the woman told police that after her and the defendant's relationship ended in the spring of 2011, he began to stalk her.

He called her as many as 70 times a day and sent threatening text messages and emails, she said. He followed her around, making threats, and on several occasions, physically assaulted her, the charges state.

On March 1, 2012, the man arrived at the woman's apartment and chased her to her car, court documents state.

She tried to lock the door, but wasn't fast enough.

The man pushed her head into the steering wheel and then pulled her out of the car by her hair, officials said. That's when he presented her with several documents and threatened to break her neck if she refused to sign them.

The woman said she signed the documents, if only to get her keys back from her ex-boyfriend, charges state.

When the documents asking a judge to dismiss a civil stalking injunction filed against the man arrived in court, they were covered in blood.

In the online report, the man is quoted as saying the blood came from his finger.

Turns out, prosecutors didn't buy that story.

And on Monday, neither did a judge believe that the man needed to cross-examine all of the people he subpoenaed on the witness stand.

"It's a fishing expedition," said 3rd District Judge Robin Reese as he struck down the man's subpoenas.

It wasn't the first time the man was denied by the court.

According to a letter the defendant wrote in August of this year, he feels mistreated.

"Each court appearance I come very well prepared, but I am always rushed and not allowed to finish," he wrote.

On Monday, the man was led out of the courtroom after nearly an hour of argument because, the judge said, they had a very full calendar and needed to get to other cases.

"The only chance the state has to elude the truth and gain convictions is if I am incarcerated and unable to aid in my defense," he wrote. "Please help."

—Marissa Lang