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Murder Defendant Will Act as Own Attorney

Murder Defendant Will Act as Own Attorney

Posted - Jul. 14, 2003 at 7:50 a.m.



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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Richard Quinton Gunn will act as his own attorney in his bid to withdraw his guilty plea to aggravated murder in the death of his boarder.

A hearing was set for Aug. 28 during a status conference Thursday before 2nd District Judge Parley Baldwin. Public defender Michael Bouwhuis is still assigned to Gunn's appeal as standby counsel, even though Gunn said he's representing himself.

Bouwhuis said he went to the state prison last month to meet with Gunn and but Gunn refused to discuss it with him.

"He was polite," Bouwhuis said. "He just said basically, `No, thank you."'

Gunn, 55, was sentenced in March to life in prison without parole for the Nov. 2, 1999, slaying in Gunn's Ogden home of Charles Leff, 78.

According to statements made to police and psychologists, Gunn killed Leff because he had made a pass at his girlfriend or because Leff was going to help the woman leave Gunn.

One doctor suggested Gunn had a dissociative reaction, confusing Leff with the memories of an abusive father he had watched rape his sister.

Gunn told police he used a crowbar, butcher knife, handsaw, fireplace poker, 12-inch bolt, straightedge razor, an ax, walking canes, pool cue and a large salad fork in the slaying.

He said some of the injuries were meant to take Leff's "evil powers."

Gunn also has filed a handwritten appeal of his sentence to the Utah Court of Appeals.

Prosecutors had agreed not to seek the death penalty in return for Gunn's guilty plea. A 12-member jury unanimously favored a life-without-parole sentence, instead of life with possible parole.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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