Gorbey Tells Judge He Wants a New Lawyer

Posted February 4, 2008 at 9:51am

A Superior Court judge on Monday urged Michael Gorbey — who is accused of carrying a loaded shotgun near the Capitol last month — to work out his differences with his current attorney before seeking to represent himself in court.

Judge Gregory Jackson continued today’s scheduled status conference until Feb. 14, telling Gorbey and public defender Elizabeth Mullin to work through any issues preventing them from working together at trial. If they cannot come to a resolution, Jackson asked Mullin to help Gorbey find a new attorney before the next court date.

“See if we resolve some of these issues, so we can move forward with this,” Jackson said.

Gorbey has pleaded not guilty to charges that he carried the shotgun and several other weapons near the Capitol on Jan. 18. He remains in jail without bond.

Wearing a bright orange prison jumpsuit and a light blue jacket, Gorbey stood calmly in court on Monday, his hands folded in front of him, clutching white pieces of paper. In a soft voice, Gorbey told Jackson that he recently wrote the court seeking new counsel because there is “no attorney-client relationship” between he and Mullin.

“She’s not representing me properly,” he said, adding that Mullin has not given him certain court documents he has requested or asked the right questions in court.

Jackson pulled Mullin to the bench for several minutes to privately speak about Gorbey’s request. After the talk, Jackson did not appear ready to remove Mullin as counsel.

“She’s not quite able to tell me what your issue is with her,” Jackson said. “Ms. Mullin is a competent attorney, competent counsel.”

Gorbey told Jackson he has represented himself in court before. Jackson responded that while that might be the case, the rules in Superior Court are different, and Gorbey should obtain counsel to assist in his trial.

Gorbey has been arrested more than 30 times and convicted of seven felony counts, six in Virginia and one in West Virginia, according to the Capitol Police.

Capitol Police officers arrested Gorbey without incident, but they were forced to close down several streets near the Capitol following the arrest in order to inspect a green pickup truck they said was “associated” with Gorbey.

No explosives were found, but Capitol Police did discover additional weapons and propane tanks in the vehicle.