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Criminal Justice

Judge Says Man Who Slashed His Counsel’s Face in Front of Jury Will Be Pro Se for Rest of Trial

Posted Dec 17, 2012 2:31 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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As an attempted murder trial continues this week in San Diego Superior Court, one of the three defendants will now be required to present his case with the help of a standby lawyer only.

That's because the judge presiding over the case determined Friday that Eduardo Macias had forfeited his right to counsel by slashing his defense lawyer in the face with a smuggled razor blade a day earlier in front of the jury and a group of visiting high school students, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Attorney William Burgener, who was wearing a large bandage on his face Friday, said he was willing to continue representing Macias. However, Judge Peter Deddeh determined that it would be a conflict of interest for Burgener to do so and said Macias had forfeited his right to representation.

“He can’t benefit from his own wrongdoing,” the judge said of Macias.

Attorney Stephen Cline was appointed by the judge as standby counsel for Macias to consult while defending himself.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "High School Civics Lesson in Criminal Court Includes Seeing Lawyer Slashed with Razor Blade"

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