December 19, 2014, Richard Wanke files pro se supplement to PD conflict motion

A defendant can either assert themselves in their own defense or chose to rely only on the efforts of his attorney. If he depends on his attorney’s efforts then he is also later bound by the actions or inactions of that attorney. Criminal defense attorneys don’t generally like working with clients who do try to assert themselves. Clients often find themselves between a rock and hard place because they don’t know if they can really trust the attorney to protect their interests when they don’t or refuse to do something. Richard found himself in that position early in this murder case.

Richard waited months for the Winnebago County Public Defender and his assigned Public Defender, Derrick Schmidt, to file a decent Motion acknowledging the existence of Schmidt’s conflict-0f-interest, and that of the entire Winnebago County Public Defender’s office conflict in representing him. When Schmidt finally filed a weak motion that was easily deniable, Richard was forced to go ahead and file this pro se supplemental addition to the court filings in order to protect his interests. Judge Rosemary Collins later denied this motion on February 6, 2015, but we believe that it demonstrates that Richard’s counsel (and counsel’s entire agency) both have “per se” and “actual” conflicts-of-interest in representing him. Richard is forced to go ahead at trial with the PD representing him, but any appeal review can reverse or remand the case because of this issue for error if he is convicted.

The issue of whether or not the Winnebago County Public Defender’s office should have been appointed to represent Richard in this murder case is the single largest pretrial issue raised in this murder trial. Richard’s case has moved on well past this issue and on to trial, but that is why we’ve posted the court filings regarding it. It also gives the reader a sense of what a defendant faces in navigating with a case through the judicial system and how it works.



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