Little decided during Leon Houston's bizarre court hearing

Little decided during Leon Houston's bizarre court hearing

Leon Houston (Source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Leon Houston (Source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Roane County man wanted on several federal charges was in court again on Monday morning, but little was decided during the hearing.

Leon Houston is facing charges of owning a gun while in possession of drugs. He was also indicted last week on a new charge for threatening to kill his lawyer.

In court Monday, Houston pleaded not guilty to both charges against him.

Houston repeatedly asked U.S Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley that he represent himself on the gun charge, but have a court-appointed attorney on the count for making threats.

Judge Shirley denied the request, saying that Houston had to either choose to represent himself or have a court-appointed attorney on both charges, since they fell under one indictment.

Shirley repeatedly asked Houston if he would represent himself or seek a court-appointed attorney, but Houston kept asking for an attorney on one count and to represent himself on the other.

After an exchange between Houston on Shirley on the issue, the judge ended the hearing early without any resolution.  

Before leaving the bench, Shirley said, "let the record will reflect Houston is non-responsive  and the court will stand adjourned."

Charles Poole was represented as Leon's elbow council during the hearing. 

Houston said that Poole couldn't be accepted as elbow council on the second count, because Houston claims Poole was a witness to things that happened before the indictment.

Those who attended the trial, along with both attorneys, seemed confused by the unusual way the hearing ended. 

Poole wasn't sure what the ruling meant and was overheard saying, "until the judge says I'm off elbow council, I'm still on elbow council."

The lead U.S. attorney was similarly bewildered after the hearing and looked at those at attendance and simply stated, "I don't know what to say."

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