Defendant argues to represent himself in county court

NORWICH – Eight individuals facing a variety of felony and misdemeanor charges appeared in county court Wednesday – four sentenced, three pleading not guilty and one arguing a motion to proceed without the representation of an attorney.

• Barry L. E. Rattley, 28, Brooklyn, appeared in county court to argue a motion to defend himself at all future court proceedings, claiming Chenango County Public Defender John Cameron’s workload would prevent him from putting forth the effort to represent Rattley.

Rattley was indicted by a Chenango County grand jury in October on charges of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony; and fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony.

It’s alleged that Rattley, in August of 2012 in the City of Norwich, did knowingly and unlawfully possess – with the intent to sell – 21 glassine envelopes containing the narcotic heroin, as well as four plastic wraps containing the narcotic cocaine, with an aggregate weight of .65 grams. Rattley is also facing a second indictment in Chenango County after being charged in late October with two additional counts of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. According to Chenango County First Assistant District Attorney Stephen Dunshee, Rattley, who had posted bail following his original arraignment, failed to appear in court and was arrested a second time, again found to be in possession of heroin and other illegal substances not disclosed by police.

Acting Chenango County Court Judge Julie A. Campbell said she “couldn’t imagine” why, with the seriousness of the charges brought against him, Rattley would want to proceed without counsel.

“Have you ever heard the saying, ‘An individual that represents himself has a fool for a client,’?” asked Campbell, to which Rattley replied, “Sounds like something a lawyer made up.”

Campbell responded that the saying actually states, “A lawyer that represents himself has a fool for a client.”

As a potential persistent felon due to his criminal history, Rattley could be facing two life sentences in state prison if convicted on both criminal possession indictments. He was returned to the Chenango County Correctional Facility on $500,000 cash bail and will re-appear in court at a later date.

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