German v. State, No. 1276S456

Docket NºNo. 1276S456
Citation268 Ind. 67, 373 N.E.2d 880
Case DateMarch 13, 1978

Page 880

373 N.E.2d 880
268 Ind. 67
Charles GERMAN, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
No. 1276S456.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
March 13, 1978.

[268 Ind. 68]

Page 881

Charles F. Marlowe, Hammond, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Gerald M. Arthur, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

HUNTER, Justice.

The defendant, Charles German, was convicted by a jury of kidnapping and rape. He now appeals raising the following issues:

1. Whether the trial court erred in permitting defendant to represent himself;

2. Whether the court erred in denying defendant's pro se request for a continuance;

3. Whether the court erred in appointing standby counsel and in directing said standby counsel to take over the defense; and

4. Whether the court erred in admitting a statement made by a co-defendant.

The evidence most favorable to the state indicates that the defendant was identified as one of three men who abducted a young woman in Bloomington, Indiana, in January, 1975. The victim was taken in a van to a motel in Gary, Indiana, where she escaped from her abductors. During this period of time, the victim was threatened with a butcher knife and raped repeatedly by each of the three men. After she escaped, the victim identified the defendant from a group of seven pictures shown her at the police station and also positively identified the defendant at the trial.

The defendant was taken into custody in August, 1975. He was granted several continuances in order to retain private counsel, but in September he asked for pauper counsel. Then in November, he discharged the pauper counsel and hired a private firm to represent him. His trial was originally scheduled for February but after several continuances was finally held in April.

On the morning of the trial, after the jury had been sworn in, the defendant filed a notice of discharge of his attorney stating that he was dissatisfied with the type of representation he was getting. He requested a continuance in order to have time to hire another attorney. After carefully

Page 882

questioning the defendant about his reasons for wanting another [268 Ind. 70] attorney and his qualifications for representing himself, the court denied the motion for a continuance. The defendant chose to represent himself during most of the trial, but the court appointed the defendant's former attorney as standby counsel and directed him to take over the defense at one point.

I.

The defendant first alleges that the trial court erred in ordering the trial to continue and in ordering the defendant to represent himself. The record shows that the defendant first notified the court he was firing his attorney on the morning of the trial after the jury had been impaneled. One full previous day had already been spent in selecting the jury. At this point the defendant also asked for a continuance in order to retain other counsel. The court questioned the defendant as to why he was dissatisfied with his attorney and if anything had happened during the selection of the jury that made him dissatisfied. The defendant said nothing had happened during the selection of the jury to dissatisfy him, but he didn't like the way his attorney was handling his defense. The attorney had been on record as counsel for four months and was considered by the court to be "one of the most qualified criminal lawyers in Lake County." The attorney was unaware until the motion was filed that the defendant was considering discharging him.

The court questioned the defendant to determine whether defendant was qualified to represent himself and found that the defendant had completed two years of college but did not understand the rules of criminal trial procedure. The defendant stated that he did not feel qualified to handle his own defense, but he was also adamant in stating that he had dismissed his attorney. The court explained to the defendant that there would be no continuance and that the trial would have to go ahead either with the attorney of record or with the defendant representing himself. The defendant then said, "At this time, I am now prepared to handle my own defense."

[268 Ind. 71] It is clearly established that a defendant charged with having committed a felony be allowed representation by counsel. Gideon v. Wainwright, (1963) 372 U.S. 335, 83...

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46 practice notes
  • Woods v. State, No. 885
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 28 November 1989
    ...defendant who is without means to employ one. Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45, 53 S.Ct. 55, 77 L.Ed. 158 (1932); German v. State (1978), 268 Ind. 67, 373 N.E.2d 880. In such circumstances, the defendant does not have the right to counsel of his own choice. Harris v. State (1981), Ind., 427 N......
  • Wright v. State, Supreme Court Case No. 20S-LW-260
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 May 2021
    ...goals." McKaskle , 465 U.S. at 184, 104 S.Ct. 944. See also Leonard v. State , 579 N.E.2d 1294, 1295 (Ind. 1991) ; German v. State , 268 Ind. 67, 73, 373 N.E.2d 880, 883 (1978). And when a pro se defendant fails to present mitigating evidence, a trial court may appoint amicus counsel to com......
  • State v. Francis, No. 19305.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 7 July 2015
    ...sua sponte, forces him to choose between accepting the unwanted assigned counsel or representing himself. See, e.g., German v. State, 268 Ind. 67, 71, 373 N.E.2d 880 (1978) ; People v. Longuemire, 77 Mich.App. 17, 22–23, 257 N.W.2d 273 (1977) ; Gallego v. State, 117 Nev. 348, 359, 23 P.3d 2......
  • Russell v. State, No. 3-676A129
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 27 July 1978
    ...must make an unequivocal assertion thereof within a reasonable time before the commencement of trial. German v. State (1978) Ind., 373 N.E.2d 880; United States ex rel. Maldonado v. Denno, supra; See generally: Fitzgerald v. State, supra (1970), 254 Ind. 39, 257 N.E.2d 305. After this asser......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
46 cases
  • Woods v. State, No. 885
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 28 November 1989
    ...defendant who is without means to employ one. Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45, 53 S.Ct. 55, 77 L.Ed. 158 (1932); German v. State (1978), 268 Ind. 67, 373 N.E.2d 880. In such circumstances, the defendant does not have the right to counsel of his own choice. Harris v. State (1981), Ind., 427 N......
  • Wright v. State, Supreme Court Case No. 20S-LW-260
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 May 2021
    ...goals." McKaskle , 465 U.S. at 184, 104 S.Ct. 944. See also Leonard v. State , 579 N.E.2d 1294, 1295 (Ind. 1991) ; German v. State , 268 Ind. 67, 73, 373 N.E.2d 880, 883 (1978). And when a pro se defendant fails to present mitigating evidence, a trial court may appoint amicus counsel to com......
  • State v. Francis, No. 19305.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 7 July 2015
    ...sua sponte, forces him to choose between accepting the unwanted assigned counsel or representing himself. See, e.g., German v. State, 268 Ind. 67, 71, 373 N.E.2d 880 (1978) ; People v. Longuemire, 77 Mich.App. 17, 22–23, 257 N.W.2d 273 (1977) ; Gallego v. State, 117 Nev. 348, 359, 23 P.3d 2......
  • Russell v. State, No. 3-676A129
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 27 July 1978
    ...must make an unequivocal assertion thereof within a reasonable time before the commencement of trial. German v. State (1978) Ind., 373 N.E.2d 880; United States ex rel. Maldonado v. Denno, supra; See generally: Fitzgerald v. State, supra (1970), 254 Ind. 39, 257 N.E.2d 305. After this asser......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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