Leon Houston's trial still on schedule, despite lack of attorney

Leon Houston's trial still on schedule, despite lack of attorney

Posted:
"I am being forced into this position because my attorneys have all been let out," Leon Houston said. "I am being forced into this position because my attorneys have all been let out," Leon Houston said.

By WHITNEY HOLMES
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) -- One of the two Roane County brothers accused of gunning down a deputy and his friend in 2006 was back in court Friday morning.

Special Judge David Hayes wanted to meet with Leon Houston to go through all motions so the second trial doesn't end like the first one, in a mistrial.

The judge called Friday an "informal meeting."

Several times in court, Leon Houston demanded Judge Hayes recuse himself. The judge denied that request every time.

Sitting alone, the defendant said his rights were further being violated because he doesn't have an attorney.

Judge Hayes said he preferred Houston have one, but he got rid of them.

"I am being forced into this position because my attorneys have all been let out," Houston said.

"Stop. You asked for them to be let out," the judge responded.

"And then I retracted that," Houston said.

Judge Hayes warned Houston, if he continues to make inflammatory remarks then the trial's end may be very far away.

"When we get into the trial and I ask a question and you start stuff like that, then we come to a halt," said the judge. "And you are going back to jail until we get this case tried."

Houston responded, "I'm used to it."

If Leon Houston doesn't have an attorney in time for the trial, he'll have to do his own questioning of jurors.

He asked the judge to sequester the jurors, which the judge granted. The jury pool will include about 150 people.

Houston told the judge he was planning on subpoenaing at least 100 witnesses. The state plans to subpoena about 20.

Houston also told the judge he'll plead self-defense.

The judge suggested Houston would have less people with conflicts of interests if he had the trial in another county. Houston said he didn't want to do that.

The trial is due to start on November 2.

Houston was taken back into custody in August because he no longer had a tracking device to wear, which violated a condition of his bond.

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