YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Youngstown man sentenced in the 2013 stabbing death of a woman lost an appeal to his conviction.
David Hackett is serving a life sentence for killing Collena Carpenter in 2013. Investigators said Hackett stabbed the victim over 80 times.
Hackett acted as his own counsel during the trial, even after multiple opportunities offered by the judge to have an attorney represent him.
The judge warned Hackett that he should engage counsel and went so far as to put an attorney on “standby” to represent Hackett if he decided that he wanted an attorney.
In his appeal, Hackett said that the court limited the role of his “standby” attorney, in violation of his Sixth Amendment rights (i.e. the right to an attorney and the right to represent yourself).
The judge explained to Hackett that the standby counsel was present only if Hackett decided not to represent himself but was not there to advise him on procedural actions in the courtroom.
During his trial, Hackett made several procedural and other errors during the process and was advised time and time again to retain counsel but refused.
The court ruled that the judge did not violate Hackett’s Sixth Amendment rights because the law provides no right to a standby counsel at all so a judge can’t violate the law by limiting the role of that person.
In the end, Hackett’s appeal was denied.
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