One of the suspects in the 2013 killing of Anthony Giles will represent himself at his capital murder trial in September.
Emmanuel Sanders, 32, of Castle Hayne, is one of four suspects charged in 2015 by Lee County Sheriff’s deputies (subscription required) in connection with the death of Giles, who was killed in November of 2013 during a home invasion style robbery at his home on Hickory Nut Court in southern Lee County.
Sanders first telegraphed his intent to represent himself during a bizarre 2016 court appearance reported on by the Sanford Herald (subscription required) at which he argued to Lee County Superior Court Judge Winston Gilchrist that “his arrest was unconstitutional.”
From the article:
During his appearance, Sanders again asked that his attorneys, Kelly Mannette and Lisa Miles, be fired and he be allowed to represent himself.
“I have in fact waived my right to council and fired my attorneys on my last four court appearances,” Sanders said, calling it his “constitutional right.”
Judge C. Winston Gilchrist said the matter will be decided at Sanders’ next court appearance, planned for the week of Nov. 14.
Speaking without consulting his attorneys, Sanders then presented a number of motions to Gilchrist, many concerning his bond. Each was denied.
“What about a bid bond? Is there a bid bond?” Sanders asked.
“A what?” said Gilchrist.
“Bid bond. B-I-D bond,” Sanders said.
“This is not a question and answer session, Mr. Sanders,” Gilchrist answered. “If there is something you want to say the court will be more than happy to hear it as long as it is relevant.”
Sanders then challenged the constitutionality of the charges against him, citing a Supreme Court case. Gilchrist did not entertain the motion. Sanders then asked for N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper to personally review his case, a motion Gilchrist also denied.
Documents in Sanders’ court file show that in a psychiatric examination he was found to have an IQ of 98 and the “capacity to waive counsel” and defend himself. Still, presumably because he potentially faces the death penalty, two lawyers in the form of “standby counsel” will apparently be present at the trial.
Jury selection in the case is set to begin next week. If he is convicted of the charges against him – first degree murder, first degree kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon among them – he could face the death penalty.
Three other suspects in the case, Harley Chavis, Rodney Mintz, and Anthony Strickland, all of Wilmington, have court dates in December and January, although it was unclear whether those are trial dates or just administrative settings.
Sanders, Chavis, Mintz, and Strickland – who were arrested in connection with the case in late 2014 – were not the initial suspects in the murder. Six local suspects accused in the case had charges dismissed about a month after the arrests of the Wilmington area men.