449 F.2d 727 (5th Cir. 1971), 71-1739, United States v. Terry

Docket Nº:71-1739 [*]
Citation:449 F.2d 727
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Robert Lester TERRY, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:October 27, 1971
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 727

449 F.2d 727 (5th Cir. 1971)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Robert Lester TERRY, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 71-1739 [*]

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

October 27, 1971

Jack R. Nageley, Harvey S. Swickle, Miami Beach, Fla., for defendant-appellant.

Robert W. Rust, U. S. Atty., Marsha L. Lyons, Asst. U. S. Atty., Miami, Fla., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before GEWIN, GOLDBERG and DYER, Circuit Judges.

DYER, Circuit Judge:

Terry appeals from a judgment of conviction entered on a jury verdict of guilty of the interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle and its transportation in foreign commerce. 1 The main thrust of his appeal is the refusal of the district court to grant him a continuance so that he would have additional time to obtain an attorney, and the further refusal of the court to appoint counsel for him. This, Terry argues, deprives him of his constitutional right to be represented by counsel. We disagree and affirm.

Terry and a co-defendant were arraigned October 13, 1970. They were represented by lawyer Goshgarian, who was retained by and represented the codefendant throughout the trial. At arraignment, the trial was set for November 30, 1970, approximately six weeks hence. On November 16, 1970, a motion

Page 728

for continuance was filed by Goshgarian as "Attorney for Defendants". The motion was promptly denied. On November 30, 1970, the day of trial, Terry appeared without counsel and requested that the case be continued in order that he might retain a new lawyer. He informed the court that he had no confidence in Goshgarian as his counsel and that he had discharged him. He did not advise the trial court in advance of the trial date of his lack of counsel. The Government was prepared for trial with some twenty witnesses, several from out of state, in attendance. The court nevertheless granted Terry a 48 hour continuance on the basis of his representation that he had contacted a local attorney three weeks before the trial date whom he desired to represent him.

Two days later, on Dec. 2, 1970, the case was called for trial and Terry again appeared without counsel. He represented to the court that he had been unable to obtain the lawyer he desired because the lawyer had insufficient time to prepare. The court finally offered to allow him time to again contact the local attorney with whom he had...

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