UPDATE: Harris has successfully appealed a guilty plea to attempted promoting prison contraband and will return to Livingston County Court to continue to fight the charge.
LIVINGSTON COUNTY – A man charged with pulling a knife on a Mount Morris police officer is willing to sit out his trial, because he is apparently content in the Livingston County Jail.
Joseph Harris, 45, says he will not participate in his trial if he is represented by the Public Defenders office, and that he is content to sit in jail and not participate in his trial, now set to start on January 15.
“You want to go to trial, go without me I’ll be in the Livingston County Jail. I like it in there, it’s great, they have pizza, ice cream, and you can do your laundry every other day,” Harris said in court Thursday.
Harris had his request for new representation denied by Judge Dennis Cohen, after numerous, sometimes offensive outbursts in court about his court appointed attorney, Ann Connor. Judge Cohen stated the Public Defenders office was more than capable of providing adequate counsel.
Harris then argued that if he was let out of jail, he could then collect $1,100 per month from Social Security, and thus would be able to afford to hire his own attorney. Judge Cohen denied that request as well.
Harris is now being represented by James McCann. He faces 8 years in prison if convicted of the charge of menacing a police officer.