Trials & Litigation

Pro se murder defendant found in contempt should be removed as his own counsel, DA says

  • Print.

A self-represented capital murder defendant who removed exhibits from court records should be treated like any other attorney, a Texas prosecutor said at a Tuesday day hearing.

“Hold him in contempt,” Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham urged Judge Jack Skeen, Jr. “Even if he never serves one extra day for it. Additionally, we’d ask that he be removed as his own lawyer.”

Skeen did hold James Calvert in contempt and appears to have taken the request to remove Calvert as his own counsel due to the misconduct under advisement, according to KYTX.

At issue were seven exhibits found Friday to be missing from court records. They were discovered during a search of Calvert’s jail cell.

“The court finds you knowingly took these documents back to your cell,” said Skeen. “I’m finding you in contempt. And I’m looking at two lawyers who are really close to being your lawyers again,” the judge continued, referring to Calvert’s standby counsel.

The defendant, who was formerly employed by law firms as a computer expert, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Jelena Sriraman, in 2012.

Related coverage: “Murder defendant loses jail cell computer over claims he worked on other inmates’ cases”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.