Jeffrey Weinhaus must hire an attorney — or continue to defend himself — in a trial that is slated to begin Tuesday.
Judge Keith Sutherland denied Weinhaus’ request for a continuance Thursday, and the public defender’s office can’t represent the man in the felony case.
Weinhaus was required to qualify as indigent before a public defender would be assigned to his case.
Weinhaus, 46, who is facing multiple charges stemming from an armed confrontation last fall with Missouri Highway Patrol officers, said he is not capable of representing himself in trial.
“I’ve (gone) as far as I can go on my own,” he said Thursday. “Would you like to give me this continuance or continue this charade?”
After Sutherland denied several motions from Weinhaus, the defendant said he would not participate in his own trial.
“This is not going to happen Tuesday,” he exclaimed. “I’m not coming without competent assistance of counsel.”
Authorities last year were investigating alleged threats made by Weinhaus against judicial and law enforcement officials in Crawford County. That investigation culminated in the Sept. 11, 2012, confrontation with two highway patrol investigators who shot Weinhaus several times. The officers allege that they fired when Weinhaus went for a gun.
Weinhaus has been representing himself since his first attorney withdrew from the case.
The Missouri Supreme Court recently appointed Sutherland, a retired judge from Warren County, to preside over the case.
During Thursday’s pretrial hearing, Sutherland granted a request from Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks to bar Weinhaus from describing himself as a victim during trial.
“He is the person charged,” Parks said. “In a criminal trial, he is the defendant — he is accused.”
Parks added that by claiming he is the victim, Weinhaus would seeking sympathy from the jury.
“I am the only one (who was) actually injured,” Weinhaus said. “I’ve been harmed now for six months sitting in this jail on bogus, I believe malicious, charges.”
Weinhaus claims he is the “victim of a corrupt criminal justice system.”
“I have not been convicted of anything, so why have I been in jail for six months?” Weinhaus asked.
Sutherland told Weinhaus he would be gagged if he continues with outbursts in court.
“This court’s a mockery,” Weinhaus said. “If this continues in trial, I will have to be gagged, so how would I defend myself?”
Sutherland denied Weinhaus’ motion to sever the charges against him and try each charge separately.
“I believe putting all charges together is prejudicial,” Weinhaus said. “Mr. Parks, God bless him, is doing all he can to put together a jury.”
Parks offered precedence against severing the charges.
“All the witnesses to the charges are the same witnesses,” Parks said. “They all stem from the same charges,”
Parks said continuing with the charges combined into one case is “judicial economy.”
“The flow of the case is going to be from one to the other,” he added. “The jury, to have a complete picture of the case, needs to know what happened from the beginning to the end.”
Weinhaus said the charges stem from distinct, separate events.
Sutherland also denied the motion to dismiss the charges based on discovery.
Weinhaus requested a computer Thursday to submit videos as evidence.
“I see nothing in the motion that is cognizable,” Judge Sutherland said. “The matters in the motion are matters for trial.”
Weinhaus said the evidence would clear him of the charges.
“I am trying to save the state the opportunity and embarrassment of a trial,” he said. “All of the witnesses are liars.”
Weinhaus requested a bond reduction Thursday so he could obtain counsel.
“I need to go out and make money and find competent, effective assistance of counsel,” he said.
He requested a $25,000 surety bond.
Weinhaus has been held on a $50,000 cash-only bond since last November. In March, Sutherland approved an alternate $250,000 surety bond, which means the defendant would have to put up property or other security worth that amount or obtain a bond from a bail bondsman who, typically, charges 10 percent, or $25,000.
Sutherland denied the motion, stating that the March reduction “may be too low.”
Sutherland quashed most of the more than 100 witnesses Weinhaus proposed to subpoena for trial.
The witnesses included Gov. Jay Nixon, Sen. Brian Nieves, Rep. Paul Curtman, several judges and court clerks, state troopers, Franklin County deputies and others.
Weinhaus said he needs those witnesses to help his case.
“I want to prove through my witnesses that this court is a fraud,” he said.
Parks noted that many of those who Weinhaus attempted to call as witnesses know nothing about the case, including doctors and EMTs who worked on Weinhaus after he was wounded.
“Anything that happened to Mr. Weinhaus after he was shot is irrelevant to the case in chief,” he said.
After many of the witnesses were quashed, Weinhaus said he doesn’t “recognize the court.
“Is the Constitution in effect?” he asked.
“It’s the Constitution I am familiar with, not necessarily the one you’re familiar with,” Sutherland replied.
Weinhaus went on to call the hearing a “sham and a farce.”
“Are we on ‘Fantasy Island?’ ” he said. “Are we on the ‘Twilight Zone? ‘”
“I cannot proceed with anything obviously,” Weinhaus added. “This court is a show circus.”
Weinhaus initially was charged with tampering with a judicial officer, possession of a controlled substance — morphine — and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
The grand jury indicted Weinhaus on those original charges plus five additional felony counts, including two counts each of attempted assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action and one count of resisting arrest in connection with the Sept. 11 incident.