Weatherford Democrat

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October 17, 2013

99-year sentence upheld for kidnapper

(Continued)

In his appeal, Little complained that District Judge Graham Quisenberry erred during the trial by not having a separate jury trial on the issue of whether or not he was competent to stand trial.

"Judge Quisenberry had this defendant evaluated not once but twice by a Ph.D.-level psychologist during the time the case was pending," Swain said. "He also had numerous pretrial hearings to determine if Little really wanted to represent himself and examined the multitude of pretrial motions that Little filed in the case. Nothing presented indicated that this defendant was incompetent to stand trial, which is how Judge Quisenberry ruled and which was affirmed by the court of appeals."

Little also requested a new trial because his request for "hybrid representation" was denied.

"Hybrid representation is when a defendant represents himself during parts of a trial and has an attorney represent him during other parts," said Assistant District Attorney Eddy Lewallen, who handled the appeal for the prosecution. "Defendants are not entitled to hybrid representation and it

is, in fact, routinely denied, as it was in this case."

Since Little insisted on representing himself, Quisenberry appointed "stand-by counsel" to assist him if he decided during the trial that he no longer felt able to represent himself, an eventuality that did not come to pass, Swain said.

In concluding their evaluation of Little's appeal, the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth ruled that "there was no error in the trial court's judgment," affirming the convictions and sentences.

Little could still appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Lewallen said, "but I am doubtful that our state's highest criminal appeals court will choose to hear his case because it really does not present any novel legal issues or unusual fact situations.”

Little will not become eligible for parole until the year 2041, Swain said.

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