OGDEN — Accused double-murderer Jeremy Valdes has filed a motion requesting he be allowed to act as his own attorney.
Valdes, 35, in jail since his arrest in November 2009, apparently surprised his public defenders with the pro se motion.
“I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know anything about it,” said Gary Barr, Valdes’ lead counsel. The motion was filed Friday in 2nd District Court and formally entered into court files Monday morning. It is listed as “sealed” with the text unavailable, although that is typically done through a judge’s order.
Barr said he couldn’t know why Valdes would seal the motion. Barr has filed motions placed under seal in requesting appointments of defense experts. Defense attorneys are allowed that confidentiality from prosecutors as they develop their theory of a case.
A hearing date on Valdes’ motion has not yet been set. Valdes has made unusual public statements in the past, but has been relatively silent for more than a year.
In April 2010 he declined a plea negotiation which would have precluded the death penalty in the case, going on a rant for several minutes in open court to proclaim his innocence. He suggested calling “Dionne Warwick and the Psychic Friends Hotline” to learn the truth of the case. He concluded by saying, “In the end, you will all know the truth … and I will expect an apology.”
Barr said Valdes has expressed no dissatisfaction with his defense.
“I am on the case until the judge says otherwise.”
Barr has had some success, getting Valdes’ purported confession to Roy police thrown out last year because of a faulty Miranda warning.
Trial is set for seven days stretched between Jan. 8, 2013, and Feb. 15 before 2nd District Judge Mark DeCaria.
Valdes is charged with the murders of Pamela Knight Jeffries and her son, Matthew Roddy, in their Roy mobile home the day before Thanksgiving 2009.
Jeffries, 56, and Roddy, 30, were found dead in a closet in their home five days later. Police say Valdes killed the two after they reported to police that prescription drugs had been stolen from their home and that Valdes and his girlfriend Miranda Statler may have taken them. Statler pleaded guilty to lesser charges as an accomplice and is serving a potential 20-year prison term. She has testified against Valdes.
An autopsy found 31 knife wounds in Roddy’s body. Jeffries suffered severe head injuries but died from asphyxiation.
In July 2010, Valdes in a letter to the editor sent from jail faulted the case against him and complained about the newspaper’s coverage, then commented on a reader’s poll on Standard-Examiner comics:
“While I have you here, my friends and I would like to request that you bring back the comics, Pearls Before Swines and Garfield. Thank you.” The letter was widely circulated on the Internet.