The man accused of the attempted murder of Marlene Bird wants to rescind his guilty plea.
In late April, Leslie Black entered the plea related to the Prince Albert attack that left Bird wheelchair-bound. The Timber Bay woman was cut and burned in July of 2014 in downtown Prince Albert.
Black signed a statement of facts about the attack the same day he entered his plea. However, he later denied the offence in a psychiatric report, said Judge S.D. Loewen in Prince Albert Provincial Court on Tuesday.
This conflict led Legal Aid, which is government-funded, to withdraw from representing Black in court.
At his last appearance, Black said he planned to appeal Legal Aid’s denial of representation and he was given three weeks to do so. Black did not make an appeal. With his hands crossed in front of his body, wearing the prisoner’s outfit of a grey sweatshirt and green scrub pants, he explained what he did instead.
“I have written Legal Aid and told them I’d rather have a court-appointed lawyer instead of Legal Aid,” he told Loewen, adding that “the last couple of lawyers I had up and dumped me.”
Loewen didn’t accept Black’s statement, saying Legal Aid had run into a conflict and “it’s not like anyone is leaving you high and dry.”
Black responded he had sent his letter to Legal Aid two weeks ago but had not been contacted by Legal Aid’s director at all in the time since.
That wasn’t the only issue Black brought up in court.
“I believer there’s something wrong with me and I need help,” Black said. He asked Loewen to order a voluntary psychiatric assessment in North Battleford.
However, Loewen says there could be legal implications to that, so a decision will wait until Black has representation.
In an effort to speed up the court process, Loewen said he wants to see if a court can appoint representation for Black within the week.
Black is scheduled to return to court on October 7.
At that time there will be likely be more discussion of a possible expungement hearing for Black to hold back his guilty plea.