LIVINGSTON COUNTY – A formerly confident defendant representing himself on felony charges for allegedly tampering with physical evidence caved on Tuesday and accepted the help of the Livingston County Public Defender’s Office.
Though he has filed one failed motion himself, basically an order of dismissal in the interest of justice, Franklin Gay, 41, agreed to let Assistant Public Defender Christopher Laragy handle things from here.
“You have until recently decided not to be represented,” said Judge Robert Wiggins. “I expect that any motions or papers will come from the public defender’s office, not both of you.”
On March 24, Gay caused a stir when he allegedly ate what is believed to be a baggie of drugs at a traffic stop by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office on 390. After apparently overdosing and being rushed to the University of Rochester Medical Center, a nurse unstrapped him from his gurney and he apparently walked out of the hospital. Federal marshals located him a short time later at one of the homes they were watching for him in Rochester.
The change of heart comes after multiple long but poorly prepared legal arguments in court. At arraignment in Geneseo Town Court, Gay insisted that the charges be dropped.
“The bottom line is that I am going to challenge the court’s jurisdiction and it must be established,” said Gay at arraignment. “As there is no other party in the room representing [the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office], I am going to ask that this entire matter be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. I hate talking like this because it makes me seem like I’m trying to get out of something, but it’s because I really took my time time to study and really took my time to learn about the law. I read it, I interpret it, I feel that I’m a fair person, and I feel that it’s time for me to apply it in a court of law where my future and my rights are concerned.”
Laragy requested that the matter be adjourned so that he can review the evidence that the District Attorney’s Office intends to use against Gay.
Gay may have fled because he has prior felony convictions which could make a potential sentence on these charges more serious if convicted. According to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, he spent more than three years at Five Points Correctional Facility for felony Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.