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By Staff
Of The New Era 

Judge refuses to let accused SH man represent himself

 

April 19, 2016



After arriving 15 minutes late for his scheduled plea and sentencing, Allen Maurice Diggs declined to enter a plea and said he wanted to represent himself.

Diggs, 73, faces two charges of felon in possession of a firearm stemming from incidents on Nov. 6, 2015 and Jan. 5, 2016.

While Diggs was on conditional release after his Jan. 5 arrest, he was cited for driving uninsured and driving while suspended.

Those charges were dismissed.

At the April 14 hearing, Diggs’ attorney, Tyler Reid, said they reviewed a waiver of indictment and a petition to enter a plea at their last appearance, a settlement conference on March 22.

Diggs said he wanted to release Reid of his “obligation” to represent him.

When Judge Daniel Murphy asked Diggs why he wanted to represent himself, Diggs said there were some articles that his attorney didn’t seem to be aware of. He said during the 14 years he was in prison he did a lot of reading about the law.

“I’ve been told by a number of people that he is a good attorney,” Diggs added. “I’m not questioning his abilities.”

Reid helped Diggs retrieve some documents out of the back of his wheelchair.

Diggs, who is a convicted felon, cited portions of the constitution and said he should be allowed to own firearms.

Reid assured Diggs that Murphy and prosecuting attorney Richard Wijers were familiar with the law.

Murphy told Diggs he heard him raise some of the same assertions at another hearing.

“If you commit a felony, you give up the right to the second amendment to bear arms,” Murphy said. “This is not a matter which you can argue in this court. It has been decided in a court far superior to this one. So the question is: Do you want to enter a plea, or not? If you don’t, we’ll schedule it for trial. If you do want to enter a plea, then we’ll proceed with the sentencing.”

Diggs started to respond, citing another case.

Reid interrupted and asked the judge if he could make a proposal.

“I understand Mr. Diggs would like to continue representing himself,” Ried said. “If the court were to allow it, I would still be willing and available to sit down with Mr. Diggs and set aside a couple of hours to process the legal issues that he is raising. To answer questions and to hear his concerns.”

Murphy agreed.

“Let’s set a time then to reschedule this and Mr. Reid,” Murphy said. “And let’s allow 30 minutes to make sure we have enough time.”

The next hearing is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on April 29.

Murphy said at that point, Diggs will either enter a plea or schedule a trial. He said he would not allow Diggs to represent himself.

“I think Mr. Diggs doesn’t fully understand how much he needs Mr. Reid.

 
 
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