An accused cop-killer faced a judge once again on Tuesday. Wisner Desmaret is accused of first-degree murder for killing Fort Myers Police Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller in 2018.
Desmaret wants to represent himself in the death penalty trial, and he might get his way. The judge says if doctors rule him competent to do so, he could take on his own case. In the end, the judge must decide if Desmaret can handle a death penalty case, even with a lawyer appointed to assist him.
The new lawyer is Lee Hollander. If the judge decides Desmaret can not represent himself, Hollander will take the lead.
The judge will use a doctor’s report, due October 1, to determine if Desmaret is fit to represent himself.
Either way, the judge asked Hollander to do what he could to move the case forward. Hollander said he’ll need time.
“Whether I am main council or standby, I still have to familiarize myself with the case. A prior council has advised me there’s over a thousand pages just of mental health records, which is consistent with what I’ve seen in the court file that I’ve gone through he’s got a long history of mental health issues,” said Hollander in court on Tuesday.
Desmaret’s trial is postponed indefinitely while the court works out if he will represent himself.
WINK News asked criminal defense attorney Malcolm Godwin, who is not affiliated with this case, what the impact of the delay means.
“Every time you push the trial back, that goes with witnesses too,” said Godwin. “You had the witness four years ago, but now the that witnesses and living anymore or that witness can’t be found anymore. So you know, every time you put your case back, the more likely it becomes that it’s a weaker case.”
The trial was supposed to begin on Tuesday. The judge said he’d like to see jury selection start sometime in January, but that is if Desmaret does represent himself.