The Iowa Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a Waterloo man who was banned from the courtroom while representing himself at trial. Dontrayius Carey was arrested in August of 2011 after a Waterloo police officer questioned him and discovered he was carrying marijuana near the scene of a shooting investigation.
Carey chose to represent himself and then got into an argument with the judge over the proper procedure for introducing evidence. The judge eventually gave control of the case to a licensed attorney. That led to a heated exchange with Carey and he refused to sit down in the courtroom. The judge ordered Carey out of the courtroom and he was not brought back for the rest of the trial.
Carey was found guilty of second offense possession of a controlled substance, but appealed, saying the court violated his constitutional right to be present at trial. The appeals court found the district court abused its discretion in keeping Carey out of the trial without conducting an on-the-record hearing with Carey present to determine whether Carey could come back to the courtroom.
The case will return to district court for a new trial.
See the full ruling here: Carey decision PDF