Guess Who’s Decided to Represent Himself?

He isn't and she probably isn't (image: BBC News)

No, not Donald Trump, who seems to be devoting all his energy to glaring and so must delegate everything else. Also not Bob Menendez, the Democratic senator currently on trial for bribery, who seems content to let others pin the blame on his sick wife, at least assuming the jury thinks there’s anything suspicious about keeping half a million in cash and a bunch of gold bars around the house. Depends where you keep it, as far as I’m concerned. See, e.g., “Jefferson Convicted of Bribery, Storing Cash in Freezer” (Aug. 5, 2009).

No, it’s Nicholas Alahverdian, a.k.a. Nicholas Rossi, a.k.a. Arthur Knight, a.k.a. the guy who faked his own death in Rhode Island and then pretended to be someone else in Scotland but was eventually extradited to Utah to face long-pending criminal charges. See, e.g., “Nicholas Rossi’s World Tour Continues” (Jan. 19, 2024) (with links to earlier installments). Sources report that Rossi—who is still pretending this is all a case of mistaken identity—told Judge Derek Pullan this week that he will represent himself, despite Judge Pullan repeatedly urging him not to do that.

Pullan emphasized that Rossi is facing a minimum of five years in prison, which I think is just on the two Utah rape charges he faces, and could get up to life without parole.

“Let me be clear,” Pullan told Alahverdian/Rossi/Knight. “That means you will die in prison.”

“That’s a chance I’m willing to take, your Honor,” the defendant replied. We shall see. He is apparently allowed to change his mind later, which I was sorry to hear, and he might actually wise up and do that.

But there is still reason to hope. According to the report, Rossi (performing, remember, as Irish orphan Arthur Knight) told the court that “he has studied law in England and Wales as well as a considerable amount of law in Scotland.” He did admit that his knowledge of American criminal law would need a little “brushing up.” But if he explained where an Irish orphan—who, to the best of my knowledge, has insisted he’s never even been to the United States—had previously obtained any knowledge of American criminal law, the report didn’t mention it. I suppose they get Law & Order over there, so maybe that’s it.

A preliminary hearing is set for June 18. I suggest trying to get tickets as early as possible.