Muhammad Trial

Transcript: Excerpt of Oct. 20 Bench Hearing

Tuesday, October 21, 2003; 12:00 AM

The following is an excerpt of a bench hearing Oct. 20 in the trial of sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad. It is based on a preliminary transcript by court reporters Ronald Graham and Associates. Present at the bench hearing were Muhammad, Prince William Circuit Court Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr, Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney James A. Willett and defense attorneys Peter D. Greenspun and Jonathan Shapiro.

JUDGE LEROY F. MILLETTE JR.: I understand that there is a motion that I need to address at the bench, so if you all will approach and do that.

Mr. Muhammad, I understand you have a motion.

JOHN ALLEN MUHAMMAD: Yes, sir. Can I represent myself?

MILLETTE: That is a motion that I think I am not required to grant constitutionally because --

COURT REPORTER: I can't hear.

MILLETTE: I don't have to grant the motion because I think you've -- yourself once the trial began, so I will have to consider certain factors before I decide.

My first question to you is, "Why do you want to represent yourself?"

MUHAMMAD: Because --

COURT REPORTER: I can't hear him. I can't hear him.

MUHAMMAD: Because I feel like I can speak better on my behalf.

MILLETTE: When did you come to this conclusion?

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