Florida Defendent Refuses to Accept Counsel from ‘Negro’ Public Defender
A Florida defendant did not exactly make a good impression with the courts on Thursday when he decided to attack the man appointed to help him with his legal defense because he was black.
Thomas Thorpe, who is facing charges of attempted murder and related offenses after stabbing a passenger at an Orlando bus stop this week, rebuffed the public defender’s offer to aid in his defense.
“I said not guilty,” Thorpe told the judge. “I pleaded not guilty and I don’t want this negro standing next to me. I don’t want a negro standing next to me.”
The young public defender next to him managed to remain professional despite the slight, turning to Thorpe when he made the remark but choosing to say nothing at all.
The judge also did not react to the defendant’s mean-spirited rant and instead told him that he would assign him a public defender while his mental competency was being assessed.
In response, Thorpe declared he does not want a public defender at all.
“Do you understand what an attorney is and what they do?” the judge then inquired of the defendant.
“Yes, they screwed us,” Thorpe retorted.
The unnamed public defender then offers once again to help out Thorpe, who seems all to ready to leave the courtroom. In response, Thorpe replied, “I’m not gonna call you.”
Thorpe is currently being held without bail for the brutal stabbing of 64-year-old Donald Sacco on Wednesday. Sacco, who is expected to survive the attack, was simply standing at a bus stop when Thorpe went on his rampage.
Police suspect that robbery was a motive in Thorpe’s crime, because witnesses reported that Thorpe was trying to grab Sacco’s bag at the time.
They also said the stabbing victim seemed to be picked out by Thorpe at random.
“The thing about it is the dude said they didn’t even know each other from nothing, so I don’t know if he was trying to rob him or what, but he stabbed him up pretty good,” said Si Macon, who aided the victim until paramedics arrived.
Photo Credit: Police File Photo