Judge won’t appoint lawyer in Santa Rosa armed robbery trial

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A judge ruled Tuesday she will not appoint a lawyer for an Oakland man on trial in the attempted robbery of a Santa Rosa jewelry store in 2015.

Judge Dana Simonds rejected the request from Jimmy Lee Terry, 45, who announced earlier this year he would represent himself, but changed his mind after testimony began Monday.

Simonds cited case law that a midtrial change would lead to delays and be too disruptive. Prosecutors argued it would force traumatized witnesses to testify twice.

Terry, a previously convicted felon, said he had a change of heart after talking to family and friends.

He faces life in prison if convicted of trying to rob Bennett Valley Jewelers of Rolex watches. The heist was interrupted by the store’s co-owner, who emerged from a back room and shot at Terry and his accomplice, Johnny Douglas, also of the East Bay.

At the time, Terry was firing his own gun and using a store clerk as a human shield.

Douglas was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he was convicted in a separate trial.

The holdup was captured on video, which has been shown to both juries.

Simonds’ ruling means Terry will continue to cross-examine witnesses. He is expected to make an opening statement next week and reveal any defense.

During jury selection, Terry quizzed prospective panelists about their favorite professional sports teams. He is being assisted by a private investigator.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 707-568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ppayne.

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