It took a while, but a Chattanooga man decided to represent himself in court after a lengthy discussion with Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz. Fred Martin, 56, had recently had his criminal trespassing and stalking charges bound over from the Grand Jury.
Martin had been represented by attorney Robert DeBusk, but Martin had deemed Mr. Debusk’s representation to be “ineffective.” Now representing himself, he continuously asked for the judge to review the facts of his case.
Judge Greenholtz repeatedly reminded Martin that he was just there to go over the disadvantages of representing himself, a “talk” required by law. Judge Greenholtz assured him he would allow him to say whatever he wished after the judge was able to go through the legal discussion.
Through question and answer, Fred Martin was revealed to have no experience in Hamilton County’s Criminal Court and no legal training. Throughout the exchange, Martin would often go on tangents about the legitimacy of the charges levied against him.
“How can I get an indictment for stalking if the victim didn’t appear,” asked Martin, who then asked for documents. “I want copies of the police report and the transcript. This entire proceeding is unconstitutional.”
Judge Greenholtz quietly reminded him that the entire reason this proceeding was taking place was because the law required it, and asked him to stay focused on the questions about representing himself.
“I’m not here to discuss the facts of the case,” said the judge, who then took a break from the proceedings once it became apparent Martin did not wish to speak about what the court wanted to discuss. Judge Greenholtz attended to other cases and Martin went back to the gallery.
According to police reports, Martin was seen walking up and down a sidewalk where the victim was present. Martin had already been previously charged with stalking the victim. He was then arrested and charged with stalking.