NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - A Hampshire Superior Court judge, despite expressing reservations, has allowed an Easthampton man charged with killing his girlfriend to represent himself at his murder trial.
Judge Daniel Ford on Tuesday said he would allow Ryan Welch to defend himself, even though he has mental health issues and no legal experience.
The 37-year-old Welch asked to represent himself because he no longer has confidence in his court-appointed lawyer. Welch told the judge his lawyer was only pursuing a strategy of determining the level of Welch's criminal responsibility at the expense of presenting evidence that he did not commit the crime.
Welch is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to the February 2012 slaying of Jessica Ann Pripstein.
Authorities say the 39-year-old Pripstein died from "sharp-force injury" to her neck.
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