by Julie Montanaro
September 22, 7:10pm
A surprise in court Friday as a convicted sex offender decides to fire his lawyer and represent himself.
Sixty-five-year-old Richard Rightmire is accused of having sex with a teenage girl, taking pictures of it and then fleeing to Canada. He was found guilty last month and was slated to be sentenced Friday, but that was delayed when Rightmire decided to begin representing himself.
His first task will be trying to avoid a life sentence.
"There are roughly 90 different counts so his exposure is extreme," said Rightmire's former attorney, Alex Morris. "I believe that the criminal punishment code will likely call for a sentence that essentially in Mr. Rightmire's circumstances equates to a life sentence."
In a recent letter to Judge Kathleen Dekker, Rightmire claims Morris never asked his side of the story, only met with him for a couple of hours prior to trial and ignored complaints that he could not hear in court.
Judge Dekker ruled Morris' representation was more than adequate and refused to appoint another lawyer. That means Rightmire will represent himself at sentencing November 4.