KEENE — The Chesterfield man charged with attempted murder after he allegedly fired hundreds of bullets at two of his neighbors is not going to be allowed to act as his own attorney.
Cheshire Superior Court Judge David Ruoff issued a recent order barring Michael Connarn, 42, from representing himself in court. Connarn was trying to dismiss his fourth legal team since his arrest in October of 2018 when Ruoff ruled last week that he is not competent to serve in his own defense.
“The court finds that at present the defendant is not capable of executing a valid Faretta Waiver,” Ruoff wrote.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in Faretta v. California that defendants have a right to dismiss their attorneys and represent themselves. A Faretta Waiver is the form used to help the court determine if a defendant is capable of undertaking their own defense. Connarn has a competency hearing set for March, but court records indicate the court-ordered evaluation found serious issues with his competency.
“Moreover, the Court is very doubtful that — given the constellation of his mental health issues — he would ever be able to represent himself at trial,” Ruoff wrote.
Connarn has been held by the state without bail since his October 2018 arrest. According to court records, he started shooting at his neighbors Ty Zinn, and Zinn’s housemate Kevin Fluegge, after Connarn argued with Zinn about how fast Zinn was driving.
Connarn has been represented separately by attorneys with the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office as well as attorneys Mark Sisti and Bruce Kenna, before he dismissed all of them throughout the course of the criminal case. He’s currently being represented by attorney Anthony Sculimbrene, whom he also attempted to dismiss.