Howard appeals his conviction of unlawful imprisonment.
Howard argues that his decision to represent himself was not
made knowingly and intelligently because the trial court did
not inform him of the maximum sentences for the crimes
charged against him.
that Howard's waiver of his right to counsel was invalid
and the trial court erred in allowing Howard to represent
himself because the trial court did not inform him of the
maximum sentences for the charged crimes and the record does
not otherwise show that he knew the maximum sentences. In the
unpublished portion of this opinion, we address and reject
claims that Howard asserts in a statement of additional
we reverse Howard's conviction and remand for a new
had been in an on-and-off romantic relationship with Brandy
Wright and was living in her house. On April 13, 2016, Howard
and Wright got into an argument and Wright decided to leave
the house. After packing some things, she attempted to leave
through the front door. Howard stopped Wright from leaving by
standing in front of the door and holding her.
then tried to go to the back door. Howard grabbed her and
pulled her back. They were yelling at each other and although
Wright said that she wanted to leave, Howard would not let
her go. Wright ran toward a bedroom and tried to get out
through the window. Howard again pulled her back, out of the
window and into the house. Eventually, Howard let Wright
leave through the front door.
State charged Howard with unlawful imprisonment and fourth
trial, Howard made a motion to represent himself. Defense
counsel stated that Howard had represented himself in
previous cases. When the trial court expressed concerns about
Howard representing himself, Howard stated, "It is my
constitutional right to proceed pro se, and I would just like
to exercise it." Report of Proceedings (RP) (June 29,
2016) at 8.
trial court and Howard engaged in a brief colloquy, which
included the following exchange:
THE COURT: Well, I believe that you're competent to stand
trial. That's not the issue here. But whether you have
any ability to really maintain a legitimate defense and a
thoughtful defense when you are dealing with a prosecutor
with many years of experience and years of legal training is
the concern that I have. And it's a concern about your
due process rights because the scales are not balanced in
your favor under that sort of a match up.
The Court will not be giving you any special dispensation.
The Court will not be giving you any legal advice. The Court
will not be changing the rules simply because you are an
unrepresented person. You will be held to the same standards
as everybody else.
Do you understand that?
MR. HOWARD: Yes.
THE COURT: I don't know what your offender score is,
so I can't tell you exactly what your sentencing range
would be. But you are charged with unlawful imprisonment
and assault in the fourth degree.
In the event of conviction, there is likely to be a
substantial period of imprisonment involved. Do you
MR. HOWARD: Yes, sir.
RP (June 29, 2016) at 8-9 (emphasis added).
trial court then entered an order granting Howard's
motion to represent himself. The order stated that Howard had
made a "knowing, intelligent, and voluntarily [sic]
waiver of counsel." Clerk's Papers (CP) at 124.
jury found Howard guilty of the unlawful imprisonment charge
and not guilty of the assault charge. The court sentenced
Howard to 51 months, the lower end of the standard sentence
appeals his conviction.
argues that his decision to represent himself and waive his
right to counsel was not knowing and intelligent because the
trial court did not inform him of the maximum penalty
associated with his charge ...