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Doll says he is not prepared to act as own attorney

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BENTONVILLE -- A Missouri man says he now understands the challenges he faces by acting as his own attorney.

"I wasn't prepared for the reality," Michael Doll said at a hearing in his case Thursday.

About the case

Michael Doll, 52, of Jasper, Mo., could be sentenced from 10 years to 40 years of life imprisonment each if convicted of attempted capital murder and aggravated residential burglary. He could be sentenced from five to 20 years in prison if convicted of first-degree battery.

Source: Staff report

Doll, 52, of Jasper is charged with attempted capital murder, aggravated residential burglary and battery. Doll's ex-wife told a 911 dispatcher on June 7, 2016, that he tried to break into her Bella Vista home. Gunfire was heard on the phone and the caller said a man had shot her, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Doll pleaded not guilty to the charges. He's being held in the Benton County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 22. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green previously agreed to let Doll represent himself, but only after she repeatedly warned not to go down that path. She stuck to her ruling on Thursday as Doll tried to back away from his earlier decision.

"I wasn't prepared," Doll said. "I can't represent myself."

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Green received a letter from Doll on Wednesday. "I probably should have paid more attention to the old adage you told me in court about the attorney who represents himself," Doll states in the letter.

The judge previously told Doll, "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."

Green warned Doll at two prior hearings about the consequences of representing himself in a case where he faces two life sentences plus 20 years if convicted.

Doll was adamant he wanted to represent himself, and Green allowed it since it is Doll's constitutional right to do so.

He was first represented by Bentonville attorney Shane Wilkinson, who was allowed to withdraw from the case. Green then appointed the Benton County Public Defenders Office to represent Doll.

Doll then said he wanted to represent himself instead of deputy public defenders Scott McElveen and Kevin Lammers. Green granted Doll's request.

Green ordered the public defenders to act as Doll's stand by counsel, but they would only to offer guidance or answer questions from Doll.

On Thursday, Green told Doll the public defenders would not step in and take over the trial.

"You made the decision to represent yourself," Green said.

Green normally has a requirement that attorneys exchange witness lists 30 days before the trial. Doll previously told Green he had not subpoenaed any witnesses.

The judge allowed Doll to subpoena his witnesses, but he must immediately provide their names.

Doll had complained at a hearing last week about access to the law library and a lack of lighting in his cell that he said prevented him from preparing for the case.

Green said Sheriff Shawn Holloway addressed both issues. Doll has open access to the law library computer and a printer. A extra light bulb was added in his cell to improve the lighting, Green said. Doll agreed his complaints had been addressed.

Doll's ex-wife told police she moved to Bella Vista to get away from Doll, and he had threatened to kill her, according to court documents.

A bullet grazed the woman's side and she was treated at the scene, according to court documents.

Doll has claimed at previous hearing that he was acting in self-defense.

NW News on 08/11/2017

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