Attorneys for Edward Thomas Mann, accused of murder and assault in a May shooting spree at the IBM building in Bethesda, have clashed with Mann over defense strategy and have asked to withdraw as his lawyers.
In a motion filed this week in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Washington lawyers R. Kenneth Mundy and Joseph L. Gibson Jr. said Mann has insisted on meeting with members of the press in jail to review his case.
When they discouraged Mann's request for interviews, the attorneys said, Mann requested that they withdraw as his lawyers and said he would represent himself at his trial, which is scheduled to begin Dec. 6. Detention officials have not allowed reporters in the center, saying the center has to abide by Mundy's orders.
Mann was indicted June 7 on murder and assault charges in the deaths of three people and the wounding of 23 others during a 7 1/2-hour siege May 28 at the IBM building off Democracy Boulevard, near Montgomery Mall. Mann, 38, a former IBM employe from Mitchellville, drove his 1977 Lincoln Continental through the glass doors of the building and fired about 150 rounds from a variety of weapons before he was taken into custody.
Mundy later entered Mann's plea of not guilty by reason of insanity before Judge Irma S. Raker, who ordered Mann sent to the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. A team of Perkins doctors concluded in late August that Mann is mentally competent to stand trial.
According to this week's motion, Mann, who is being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center, feels his lawyers should have filed a bond motion in an effort to secure his release before trial.
They lawyers said they explained to Mann that such a motion would be futile because he has pleaded insanity and because the state's attorney has indicated he will request the death penalty if Mann is convicted.
A Circuit Court judge must now hear arguments on the attorneys' motion to withdraw at a hearing that has not yet been scheduled.
Under a 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Faretta v. the State of California, a criminal defendant is entitled to represent himself at trial as long as the individual has submitted to the court a "knowing and intelligent waiver" of his right to counsel and is made aware of the advantages of having a lawyer represent him.