NORWICH – A defendant lost his bid to represent himself in county court Friday. Terry Towndrow said he was at odds with his attorney, who he said quit on him, and wanted to defend himself against the charge – possession of a stolen weapon. Towndrow made an emotional plea to the court, urging he be allowed to make motions on his behalf, many of which challenged the ethical behavior of his ex-counsel Christopher Simpser and District Attorney Joseph McBride.
Before the Hon. Judge Howard Sullivan would allow Towndrow to defend himself, the defendant had to answer a series of questions testing his competence with the law. Sullivan ruled that Towndrow could not adequately defend himself, because Towndrow cannot read or write and never obtained an education beyond 9th grade.