Confessed cop killer Jamie Hood fires legal team - CBS46 News

Confessed cop killer Jamie Hood fires legal team

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A man who has admitted to shooting and killing an Athens police officer has gotten defense lawyers removed from his bizarre and high-profile case.

Judge David Sweat removed attorneys from the Athens-Clarke Public Defender's Office after Jamie Hood repeatedly complained the lawyers are not representing his best interest.

It is the latest development in a case that has taken a number of strange and contentious twists.

Hood has admitted to shooting and killing Athens police officer Buddy Christian and wounding officer Tony Howard in March 2011.

Judge Lawton Stephens, who was originally assigned to the case, has admitted he is Howard's friend. Hood contends Stephens cannot be impartial.

Hood was at the Athens-Clarke County Court on Thursday afternoon for what was supposed to be a hearing to determine if Stephens should be removed from the death penalty case due to the potential conflict of interest. But the hearing never got that far as Hood repeatedly interrupted and argued with the judge as well as defense attorneys.

Hood often sounded erratic, at times claiming he wanted to represent himself, at other times asking for new lawyers.

"I am having problems with my defense, sir," Hood complained, to Sweat. "I cannot go to court with what these people are doing to me."

Hood did not offer any specific details.

"Mr. Hood, I'm trying to protect your rights," Sweat said.

Hood loudly protested, "If you want to protect my rights, you don't (sic) suppose to be on this case!"

Hood even angrily snapped at his attorneys and shouted "get your hand off me" as they tried to calm him.

Sweat told Hood to stop interrupting.

"Mr. Hood, I am in control over the proceeding. Don't talk when I'm talking," Sweat said.

This is the second time the court has tried to hold this type of hearing. Sweat delayed last month's hearing because of similar battles with Hood.

Sweat grew frustrated Thursday and eventually cleared the courtroom, even asking the district attorney to leave to discuss address Hood's complaints about his legal team and because Hood was so disruptive.

"Everyone in the courtroom will have to leave the courtroom," Sweat said.

Sweat adjourned court for the day.

No new court date has been set.

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