Man who acted as own lawyer released from prison

Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 08:38:55-04

Omar Pouncy, 28, was released from prison Monday after a federal judge reviewed his case and determined that his constitutional rights were violated when, ten years ago, he had to choose between a completely unprepared defense attorney and representing himself at trial on charges of armed robbery and carjacking.

Pouncy, who is from Flint, was just 18-years-old when he acted as his own attorney. He says he chose to defend himself when the judge in Genesee County refused to let him hire his own attorney.

Pouncy was convicted, but when he got to prison he began to study law to find a way out.

"I'm innocent," he told 7 Action News after he walked out of federal court in downtown Detroit.

Three years ago, Pouncy sought the help of defense attorney David Moffitt. Moffitt walked Pouncy out of federal court Monday alongside Pouncy's grandmother, sister, and fiancée.

A spokesperson for the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office confirms that they are appealing Judge Matthew Leitman's decision. And if they lose their appeal, they plan to retry Pouncy on the charges.

Leitman allowed Pouncy to be released on a $10,000 personal bond, but set strict conditions that include a curfew, a GPS tether, restrictions on travel, and Pouncy must be employed by Moffitt, his new attorney.

Pouncy asked if he could be allowed to travel to places like school, church and the gym. Judge Leitman denied those requests.

Click on the video above to see today's developments in Kimberly Craig's report.