KALISPELL - A murder suspect here is pushing for his trial to begin as planned next month, despite pleas from his attorney for a delay to better prepare a defense.
Joe Buck, who is charged with murdering the owner of a local junkyard last October, dismissed advice from his lawyer to seek a delay in the start of the trial, set for June 9.
"Mr. Buck has put me in an awkward position - saying he does not want me to properly defend him," attorney Mark Sullivan said at a hearing before District Judge Ted Lympus Tuesday.
Sullivan said it will be nearly impossible for him to put together an adequate defense if Buck refuses to seek a delay. The trial was delayed once already.
Lympus carefully questioned Buck about his refusal to waive his right to speedy trial, warning him of the consequences of an unprepared defense.
"That's what you want?" Lympus asked Buck.
"Yes," Buck responded.
"OK, that's what you get," Lympus said. "You'll have to live with the consequences."
Buck, 26, is charged with the beating death of Kalispell junk dealer George Evans. He was found beaten at the secondhand store he operated next to his house. He was naked, with his mouth taped and hands bound behind his back.
Lympus has rejected a number of Sullivan's requests for expert witnesses and Sullivan said Tuesday he is preparing a motion for the Supreme Court to take control of the case and consider Lympus' earlier rulings. Sullivan also is asking Lympus to reconsider his own rulings.
If the high court grants Sullivan's request for expert witnesses, Sullivan and Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan will both have to interview the experts and adjust their cases accordingly.
But Buck is unwilling to delay the trial for that.
"If you are getting advice with someone else (besides Sullivan) with respect to speedy trial, think about it very carefully… Listen to Mr. Sullivan's advice," Lympus urged Buck.
Buck's trial originally was set for April, but was delayed at Sullivan's request. Jury selection now is to begin June 6, with the trial opening June 9.