Man Seeks New Trial After Representing Himself

A Memphis man convicted of three carjackings and nine other felonies was denied a new trial despite his claims that he was ineffective in acting as his own attorney for part of the trial, the Commercial Appeal reports. In a hand-printed motion, Christopher John Clark stated that he had a mental condition that prevented him from properly serving as his own defense counsel. Federal prosecutor Jennifer Webber stated “Precedent does not support allowing Clark to demand his right to represent himself, make an informed decision to do so and then get a second bite at the apple when that decision does not go in his favor” noting that the judge repeatedly tried to discourage Clark from representing himself. He faces 50 years in prison when he is sentenced next month by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell of Kentucky, one of several visiting judges helping to reduce a backlog of cases in Memphis.