Murder Defendant Refuses to Attend Specially Set Court Hearing

- A district judge rules that an unruly murder defendant must look at the evidence in the case against him even if that means he has to be restrained and taken into the room where the evidence will be presented.

Jerry Joe Garza requested today's hearing in the 78th District Court; however, when jailers went to retrieve him for transport to the courthouse, they say he refused to come out of his jail cell.

Garza has been filing motions in the case himself.

He sent us his most recent motion, which requests the dismissal of his third round of attorneys: Mike Payne and Bruce Harris.

Garza claims the two told him they don't have enough experience to handle such a high profile case.

In today's hearing, Harris told Judge Barney Fudge that both he and Payne have had trouble communicating with Garza.

Harris says he'd spoken with his client several times, but at the end of January he started shutting him out.

He says he's tried to talk to Garza three times since but to no avail.

Harris says he and Payne are coordinating a time to show their client all the evidence in the case, which should be sometime next week.

Fudge says Garza needs to look at that evidence and if he refuses to leave his jail cell at that time, Garza can be restrained and transported to that meeting unless his attorneys say otherwise.

Garza has another pre-trial hearing on March 13th and his attorneys say he's already told them he will for sure be at that hearing.

His case is set to go to trial in April in Canyon.

He's accused of the February 2012 murder of his former girlfriend Monica Partida.

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