Defendant Says He Wants to Represent Himself

On Sept. 10, a felony defendant waived his right to counsel in favor of representing himself. 

Anthony Braxton is charged with assault with intent to kill while armed, aggravated assault knowingly while armed, kidnapping, stalking, threat to kidnap or injure a person and Civil Protection Order (CPO) violation — all felony violations. He is currently being held at DC Jail.

Braxton initially requested new counsel. DC Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz brought in Jonathan Zucker as a possible new defense attorney. Braxton’s current attorney, Russell Hairston, was also present for the hearing. 

However, during the hearing, Braxton changed his mind and said he wanted to represent himself in his case.

Zucker advised Braxton to obtain an attorney advisor so that he would have guidance in his defense. Braxton said he is comfortable defending himself and expressed his desire to get back to his child. 

“This is my child, not Mr. Zucker’s, not Mr. Hairston’s, not anybody else’s,” said Braxton. 

The defendant said he wanted to have a trial as soon as possible. Judge Kravitz said he cannot promise Braxton when a trial will take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite this, Zucker and Hairston still encouraged Braxton to get an attorney advisor. 

The prosecution agreed with Hairston and Zucker. The prosecutor then said they want to move forward with the faretta hearing, which would determine if the defendant is mentally competent to represent himself. 

However, Judge Kravitz expressed concern that Braxton wouldn’t have a lawyer for the faretta hearing.

“I will have a lawyer,” Braxton responded, “myself.”

Judge Kravitz appointed Zucker as Braxton’s advisory attorney and scheduled his next status hearing for Oct. 13.