LIVINGSTON COUNTY – A prison inmate accused of fighting and biting a guard faced off with Judge Dennis Cohen Thursday morning as he insisted that he knew his rights better than anyone in the courtroom.
After Anthony Munford, 48, of Kings County, was arraigned on a sealed indictment charging Assault, he said that he wants to testify before a Grand Jury and no longer wants to work with his lawyer, David Wade.
“I know that under 190.50 I have the right to testify at Grand Jury,” said Munford. “Even if [an indictment] is sealed once you are arraigned on that indictment you have the right to tell your side of the story. Are you telling me I am being denied that right?”
Judge Cohen answered that in fact he does not have that right according to criminal procedure law dealing with sealed indictments and Grand Jury.
“Well you’re the only person in this room that knows that, apparently,” said Judge Cohen. “You don’t have that right. It’s a sealed indictment.”
Wade said for the record that Munford wishes to testify before a Grand Jury, and that his client feels that they can no longer work together.
“For the record, my client wishes to testify before the Grand Jury,” said Wade. “I’ve gone over with him the legal ramifications of that, and whether criminal procedure law would even allow that. He has expressed to me that he feels unable to work with me as an attorney and may seek new counsel.”
Munford is now being held at Southport Correctional Facility in Pine City, NY for 12 years to life for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree. He also spent just over 9 years at Downstate Correctional Facility for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree from 1988 to 1999.