Rocky Houston wants a lawyer, after all

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By Damon Lawrence

After months of representing himself, Rocky Houston is ready to call it quits.

He filed a motion in U.S. District Court last week asking for an attorney.

“I, Rocky Joe Houston, is requesting the appointment of a competent legal counsel representative free from conflict of interest to represent me
on said criminal charges,” he wrote in the motion.

Houston is charged with 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

His trial is scheduled to start on July 16. He faces up to 140 years in prison if convicted.  

The court has given Houston multiple opportunities in the past to get an attorney, but he’s resisted.

U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. tried to appoint Jonathan Moffatt to represent him in January.

Houston declined to speak to Moffatt “due to conflicts of interest that exist between me and Mr. Moffatt right there,” he said.

The issue was brought up again in February.

“I think you’re the one who said last time you understood that a man who represents himself is said to have a fool for a client,” Shirley said.

“That’s the saying,” Houston responded.

“So, at this point, you’re giving up the right to be represented by an attorney?” Shirley asked.

“Besides elbow (advisory counsel), yes,” Houston responded.

Shirley also asked Houston if he wanted an attorney during a hearing in March.

“Right now, I’m going to go on pro se,” Houston responded.

Now he’s requesting an attorney less than a month before the trial is set to start.

“I, Rocky Joe Houston, is hereby requesting the assistance of counsel to represent the defendant in criminal case No. 3:13-CR-9,” Houston wrote in his motion.

“I do hereby claim that because of my poverty I am not able to afford an attorney to represent me on said criminal charges.”