Trial of a Clarksburg, West Virginia man on hold after his lawyer cleared his withdrawal | news
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WV News) – The trial of a 37-year-old Clarksburg man on gun possession charges that could imprison him for life has been suspended indefinitely after his attorney was allowed to withdraw from the case.
Harrison Chief Judge Thomas A. Bedell did not immediately appoint a substitute attorney. But the judge’s hope of bringing the case to court by the end of that term – which likely means the trial will be held no later than the week of December 13th – favors an experienced lawyer.
The resigning attorney is not a novice himself. He had visited Hood in a regional jail, and that visit ended with the defendant “berating me and telling me he no longer wanted me to be his lawyer,” the lawyer said. “I’ve never had a client talk to me like Mr. Hood talked to me, to be honest. … It was very disappointing to me.”
Hood referred to it as “just a misunderstanding. I’ve obviously been incarcerated a long time and just went crazy in here” when I think about the case.
“I just got the feeling that he didn’t do a very good job. But he’s doing his best – I realized that. And I don’t want him to give up on my lawyer, ”Hood said.
The attorney, who was allowed to resign, then told Bedell that Hood’s claim that “he didn’t do his job quite well” could lead him to seek ineffective legal counsel.
Hood replied, “It was just a phrase. It wasn’t anything harmful or unorthodox, if you will. I’m sorry.”
Bedell then asked Hood if he believed the lawyer had done something he shouldn’t have done. “No,” Hood replied.
The judge asked if Hood thought there was anything else the attorney should do. “It really is in his court,” Hood replied. “This is his game. I don’t really know what’s going on here, so I’ll let him make the decisions about what we’re going to do here.”
Bedell said he wasn’t sure the relationship was “irrevocably broken”.
“I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to find yourself in Mr. Hood’s condition. But then again, I don’t want to create a situation where someone would say, ‘Judge, I told you before that he was a .. “Bum and I didn’t want him.” Not to say I believe it does, “Bedell said.
Deputy prosecutor Gina Renzelli made no recommendation to withdraw the lawyer, but said the state would not object to the court’s decision.
Separately, Hood was sentenced to one year in prison on November 22, 2017 for the negligent homicide of Joseph Bennie “Joey” Rexrode on August 12. He had 136 days of credit at this point.
The charge before Bedell is a census of gun possession.
Hood illegally owned a Glock 9mm pistol on Sept. 21, 2020, the state alleged. Hood is banned from owning guns due to a previous conviction by a domestic battery for a third crime, the indictment states.
Probation officers and deputies took Hood into custody on Sept. 21, 2020, based on an arrest warrant, at his home, the state has claimed. When they entered the apartment, officers could see a loaded 9mm ammunition magazine on a recliner, the state claims. The Glock 9mm was then found under Hood’s mattress, the state claims.
If Hood is convicted of gun possession charges, Harrison’s prosecutor Rachel Romano Renzelli and assistant prosecutor Laura Pickens could order a three-strike relapse that would have the potential to put Hood in prison for life, with parole in 15 years.
Hood was convicted of a crime of the third offense in the apartment in 2015. In this case, he was accused of beating a woman who was his fiancée when she tried to leave her residence on Stealey Avenue. According to the police, the victim suffered two fractures in an eye socket.
Hood was found guilty of the third crime in the Domestic Battery on another crime charge in October 2018. Hood was also convicted of a battery offense at the same time. In this case, Hood beat his mother, then 67, and beat her boyfriend, who was then 73, police alleged.
Hood is considered innocent.