Friday, January 22, 2010

Too Stoopid Client, Too Stoopid Lawyer

This is courtesy of the Crime Scene KC Blog another account of self-representation gone awry.  Clifton D. Taylor robbed a Kansas City Bank, stuffing the proceeds into his leather coat and hoofing it down the street.  Let's let Mark Morris of the Kansas City Star fill in the details:

"Armed with nothing but a threatening note, Taylor on March 12 stole $2,700 from the bank at 2301 Independence Ave. Just after noon, he bolted from the bank and began cutting through parking lots. Two bank employees — a customer service representative and an administrative assistant who had just returned from lunch — began following him in a car about a half-block back.

Taylor dumped his black leather jacket and green knit cap in the bed of a pickup he passed along the way. The bank employees lost sight of him after he cut back north toward Independence Avenue and headed east.

Figuring that he had gone into one of the small shops at Independence and Prospect avenues, the employees parked, waited for police and watched the stores.Taylor, meanwhile, had ducked into a cell phone shop and began looking at telephones. Security cameras inside the shop captured what followed. After feeling his pockets and turning one inside out, Taylor realized that the $2,700 from the bank was in the pocket of the coat that he had dumped about two blocks away. Slowly, Taylor put his hands on his head and bent forward, apparently in agony, then bowed his head on the top of a glass display case.

He walked onto the street, where the bank employees pointed him out to police."

Of course, this idiot decides his best representation is self-representation.  We'll let reporter Morris tell us how that went:

"Crime lab technicians found Taylor’s DNA on the knit cap and leather coat, from which police recovered the bank’s money. Investigators also used bank surveillance photos to match the distinctive fade pattern of Taylor’s blue jeans and his designer boots to those the robber wore. The robber’s face was not clear in the pictures.  Taylor argued his innocence at trial, contending that police had manufactured the case.

Hoping to prove that his former defense lawyer was somehow working for the prosecutors, he presented the jury a letter describing the defense’s attempt to poke holes in the Kansas City Police Department crime lab’s DNA procedures. But an independent lab had found the procedures and test results sound, jurors learned.  Addressing jurors in his closing argument, he acknowledged being convicted of a drug offense 18 years ago. Taylor said he did not rob the bank but merely was shopping for a cell phone when arrested without cause.  'I believe all the evidence was tampered and all the witnesses were coached,' Taylor said."

Um, the jury convicted.

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