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Anand Jon Asks Judge: 'Can I Dress Like a Lawyer?'

9:43: Judge Wesley returns to the bench, Jon enters court.

Wesley asks Jon if he has any questions and repeats his advice against representing himself. Says Jon will only get $40 to work on his case. Jon protests that will only get him a five-minute call to New York.

"Too bad," says Wesley, who is becoming increasingly curt. Moments later, he will raise it to $60.

Jon wants a court-recommended investigator and a paralegal. Judge Wesley says he does not provide paralegals to pro se defendants, but will allow him to choose a "runner."

"I'm not setting up a law office for you," Wesley says.

Jon: Can I be referred to in court as Anand Jon?

Wesley: Mr . Alexander, I'm going to address you as Mr. Alexander.

Jon (looking at list of investigators) Your honor, are any of these investigators women?

Wesley (surprised): Are they women?

Jon: Are they women? And over 18?

Wesley let this bit of gallows humor slide and then granted Jon (who's facing life in prison on multiple sexual battery convictions, several of which involved under-aged girls) his request to represent himself.

Wesley tells Ronald Richards to step away from the defense table and that he will not appoint him as standby counsel. Wesley says he will choose a lawyer from a court-provided list of standby counsel. Wesley turns down Jon's request to use Richard Bernard Zera as his paralegal, based on the fact that the latter was named a witness by the prosecution. However, he allows Richard Bernard, as he is known, to be Jon's runner.

Toward the hearing's end, Jon asks another question that takes Wesley a little by surprise.

Jon: Can I dress like a lawyer?

Wesley: Meaning?

Jon: Can I wear normal clothes?

Wesley: You can.

It was, perhaps, the best news Jon had heard this morning.


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