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Man facing death penalty for FMPD officer's murder wants to represent himself

Wisner Desmarte
Posted at 6:33 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-03 08:34:55-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The man on trial and facing the death penalty for the murder of Fort Myers police officer Adam Jobbers-Miller said he wants to represent himself.

Thursday in court it was revealed that Winser Desmaret said something to his former attorney which led to them filing a motion to withdraw from the murder trial.

Whatever was said is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

According to Desmaret, he can do a better job.

Mostly with his head down and surrounded by Lee County Sheriff's deputies, Winser Desmaret agreed with his attorneys that they should go their separate ways.

Five days before the trial was supposed to start, the counsel for the defense filed a motion to be withdrawn from the trial. Because of this, it's unclear who will represent Desmaret and if his trial will still start on Tuesday, September 6.

Thursday during the hearing, Judge Branning asked Desmaret's legal counsel several times if they could move forward as representation. Lead defense counsel Attorney Andrew Crawford said no and his office does not take lightly Desmaret's words.

Despite facing the death penalty, Desmaret believes he is better on his own. He told the judge he only trusts God and himself in this situation.

"I prefer fighting for myself, I am the one that is going to have to do the time if I lose," Desmaret told the court.

"Given the time and resources involved, is this a conflict that can be resolved?" Judge Branning asked Attorney Crawford.

Attorney Crawford said no.

Judge Branning asked attorney Andrew Crawford if he would be willing to step away from the case and let someone else from his office take over. Attorney Crawford declined and said his office can't do that.

Desmaret's current defense team is the only team he has had in the case, they have represented him since 2018.

State Attorney Amira Fox brought that up in her argument.

She told the court with the timing of the motion and the fact it's happening days before the trial, the two parties' relationship should not be strained to the point they couldn't represent Desmaret.

Judge Branning offered Desmaret new counsel multiple times. He reiterated that he has concerns that Desmaret has the knowledge or experience to represent himself, however, Desmaret has the right to do so if he chooses.

The judge asked him if he has ever been diagnosed or treated for a mental illness. Desmaret said yes, but he didn't want to talk about it.

State Attorney Amira Fox did point out that the mental evaluation determined he was fit to stand trial and competency to represent yourself in court are two different processes.

BACKGROUND

Wisner Desmaret is accused of stealing Officer Jobbers-Miller's gun and shooting him in the head on July 21, 2018.

In the midst of all this, Desmaret is pushing to represent himself. The judge said that if it comes to it, he will grant the emergency evaluation to see if Desmaret can be approved to handle his own trial.

According to the filing, Desmaret's attorney said that during last week's change of venue hearing, Desmaret called him a "snake" and did not want his lawyer representing him.

Tuesday, during a jury selection hearing, Desmaret reportedly accused his lawyer of being under the influence of illegal drugs and not looking into DNA body cameras or deposition evidence.

He also accused his lawyer of wanting him to get the death penalty.

In the motion, the lawyer denies the accusations against him including saying, "Counsel has never met with the defendant under the influence or slept during any of the proceedings.

"Additional facts have arisen," the attorney's motion states, "and counsel is now in an adversarial relationship with Defendant."