August 5, 2014
11TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS
From the Southern District of Florida
The Defendant in this case was on trial for possessing child pornography and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity charges. Mr. Roy appealed his conviction on the basis that he was denied the right to counsel at a critical stage in his case, which violated his 6th Amendment right to counsel set forth in United States v. Cronic, 104 S.Ct. 2039, 2047 (1984). Roy was the only defendant in the trial and the trial commenced without his counsel present, during which the U.S. introduced evidence inculpating ( evidence that pointed towards Roy’s guilt) the defendant. That evidence was heard by the jury who then convicted Roy. Case remanded with instructions for a new trial granted.
The Judge should not have allowed the case to continue absent counsel. This was a critical stage in the proceeding, in which the following is a summary of the testimony given:
Detective Charlie Longson, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office:
Admitted that he examined Roy’s computer and found a file containing pictures of a nude female who was bound to a table, her face covered with an orange cloth and her hands secured with tape. He was able to determine the date and time said pictures were taken, as well as model of Kodak camera used.
Roy’s attorney was gone during this testimony, he was approximately seven minutes late from lunch and he did not raise any objections to said testimony upon his return. Roy was convicted on all counts and sentenced to LIFE.
Roy’s attorney failed! This is why you hire an attorney you can trust has your best interests in mind and respects the court enough not to be late. You want to make sure that an attorney will object to testimony when required and will conduct a proper cross-examination of all witnesses when necessary. This attorney failed to do so and the Court agreed Roy’s Sixth Amendment Rights were violated.