Calvert asks court not to be called "Capital Murder Defendant," request denied

Calvert asks court not to be called "Capital Murder Defendant," request denied

Capital murder defendant James Calvert returned to court Thursday for the latest in a series on pretrial hearings meant to determine exactly how his trial will proceed. He's accused of killing his ex-wife Jelena and kidnapping his young son on Halloween of 2012.

Calvert recently chose to fire his court-appointed attorneys and defend himself.

The two-hour hearing spanned more topics than usual. But the one that took the most time was Calvert's continued level of paranoia that District Attorney Matt Bingham and Assistant District Attorney April Sikes are withholding the evidence they plan to use at trial, despite the fact that they continue to hand over mountains of it.

"I have provided a copy attached to Mr. Calvert's list of the photographs as he requested," Sikes said during an extended portion of the hearing in which she handed over another batch of files.

Calvert repeatedly claimed to know of specific things not handed over by the state, but never said what they were.

At one point Calvert said he wanted to be able to call Bingham and Sikes as witnesses and question them under oath regarding evidence in the case. That request is unusual because standard courtroom procedures dictate that prosecutors act as "officers of the court," and are always assumed to be truthful given the repercussions they face for falsifying anything in a criminal proceeding.

"If it's a motion to call them to testify, I'm gonna deny that," Judge Jack Skeen, Jr. said. "That's denied."

Then Calvert made a motion to extend the prosecution's discovery deadline.

"I can tell the court when I give my updated discovery from today, like I do pretty much every hearing, he'll have everything we have," Sikes said. "So although, he's attempting to do something, it sounds like, for our benefit, I don't really need his help with my discovery."

Eventually Skeen got tired of Calvert's assertions that this trial would be unfair before it ever started.

"If they're sitting over there telling me they don't have something and they have it, that's a problem," Skeen said. "And they know that."

Later Calvert decided to renew his motion relating to getting ink for the printer he uses--which had been covered extensively in the past, to the point that a schedule was drawn up for delivering black ink to Calvert in jail.

This time he wanted colored ink to highlight lines in a spreadsheet. Seemingly annoyed, Judge Skeen suggested a highlighter.

"That's what I use," Skeen said.

Calvert's final motion of the day was an attempt to control what Bingham and Sikes call him in the courtroom.

"They don't say defendant. They say capital murder defendant," Calvert said as he explained he believed the choice of titles was prejudicial.

"They can say capital murder defendant," Skeen said. "That's what you're charged with. You are a capital murder defendant."


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