A Hull man who is facing the death penalty in connection with the 2009 shooting death of a Liberty store clerk was given the go-ahead this week to legally represent himself.
It’s something that area attorneys say they have not seen before.
Stevie R. ”Bubba” Walder Jr. soon will be receiving legal documents related to his case from his former Conroe-based attorney, Stephen C. Taylor.
At a hearing Monday, 253rd District Judge Chap Cain allowed Walder, 33, to represent himself, and appointed Taylor as standby counsel. That means Taylor can give Walder advice if he asks for it.
He cannot, however, guide Walder or tell him during court proceedings if he thinks he’s doing a bad job.
Walder is accused of shooting 50-year-old Naushad Virani in the head after robbing his convenience store on North Main in Liberty County on Dec. 25, 2009.
Police have linked Walder to a white supremacist group, the Aryan Brotherhood, but have not said whether his connection to that group was a motive.
Judges in the past have tried to talk defendants out of passing on an attorney.
In 2008, 252nd District Court Judge Layne Walker told a man charged with felony theft who wanted to represent himself that “there is a really good likelihood you’ll get your legs blown off if you do this.”
Read this story in Thursday’s Beaumont Enterprise.
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