Jamie Hood seeks to fire public defenders, hire private attorney - CBS46 News

Jamie Hood seeks to fire public defenders, hire private attorney

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Accused cop killer Jamie Hood went to court Thursday for his first preliminary hearing under the death penalty statute, appearing for the first time since his arrest following a tense manhunt back in March.

Raw video of Jamie Hood in court.

Hood was emotional during the hearing and tried to fire his lawyers, saying he wasn't happy with his representation and planned to hire a private attorney.

"You can't force these people on me," said Hood. "If I don't want them, that's what the law says, I don't want them representing me. These people, are trying to get me to sign my privacy rights over to them. If I sign my privacy rights over to them, if I sign my rights over, they can do what they want with me."

Hood appeared to be paranoid and scared that everyone in the court room was against him, according to CBS Atlanta's Mike Paluska, who was in the courtroom at the time.

"I don't want these people representing me. If you don't got to give me them, I feel like me and my family will find one. I don't trust these people with my life," Hood said.

And Hood's life is on the line. Athens Clarke-County district attorney Ken Mauldin is seeking the death penalty. Hood didn't just ask for two new lawyers, he also made it clear he felt he couldn't get a fair trial in Athens-Clarke County Superior Court. At one point, he winked at the district attorney, and said he felt the D.A. was withholding evidence in his case.

"I want this district attorney and the chief of police to show you the cruiser video and audio of Tony Howard's car and tell them to stop hiding it," said Hood. "They did the same thing when they murdered my brother. They hid audio and video. Gave my momma a blank audio and video disc," Hood said.

Hood's attorney's Christian Lamar and Emily Gilbert, both from the Georgia Capitol Defender's Office, would not comment about the case. In court, both attorney's advised his client not to talk. But he continued anyway.

"No, No, this ain't about you," he told Gilbert. "I am trying to be nice about it, but the representation I got from the public defender is sad, I use the word sad. As far as them being qualified, I don't got nothing to do with that there. My main concern is doing the right thing by Jamie Hood. What you do for the next man ain't my business, my business is my business."

Judge Lawton E. Stephens denied Hood's request for two new attorneys.

Lamar asked the judge, on future court hearings, to not allow the media to take video of Hood in shackles because it could skew the public's perception of his client's innocence or guilt. Lawton said all motions must be filed with his office, to be determined at a later date.

Hood asked for a new venue and a new judge citing too much publicity surrounding his case, and said he was worried that the judicial system would fail him. He also asked to be moved to a different jail while awaiting trial.

In August, a grand jury charged Hood in a 70-count indictment that accused him in the March murder of Athens-Clarke County police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian. He was also charged for his alleged attempt to kill Officer Tony Howard.

Hundreds of officers searched for Hood for four days after the shooting. Then, on live television, Hood surrendered to authorities without incident, allowing nine hostages to go free.

In September, Officer Howard returned to work after six months of recuperation. He's currently on administrative duty with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

The judge did not set a new court date for Hood and it could be several months before his next appearance.

Stay with CBSAtlanta.com for updates on this story.

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