LIMA — On second thought, representing himself at trial didn’t seem like that good of an idea.
Less than a week after 25-year-old Eric Wilson told an Allen County judge he wished to serve as his own attorney as he attempts to fend off felony gang-related charges that upon conviction could land him in jail for decades, the Lima resident had a change of heart.
Wilson was back in trial Tuesday morning with local attorney Zach Maisch, who had been appointed by Judge Terri Kohlrieser to serve as “shadow” counsel to assist the Lima man in navigating the complexities of the legal process during his case. It was Maisch who told the judge that Wilson now desires to obtain professional legal counsel.
Wilson told the judge his family is attempting to secure the services of a private lawyer. Kohlrieser gave him three weeks, until an Oct. 28 pre-trial hearing, to retain his own legal counsel. If Wilson has failed to do so by that date, Maisch will be appointed by the court to represent him.
Wilson was indicted by a grand jury on charges of participating in a criminal gang with a firearm specification; two counts of felonious assault with firearm and criminal gang activity specifications; two counts of discharging a firearm into a habitation; carrying a concealed weapon; improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle and having weapons under disability.
A second suspect, 24-year-old Jamaree Allen, faces identical counts.
The charges are related to gunshots discharged near the intersection of North Cole Street and Edgewood Drive in Lima on June 21, shortly after a funeral service for 19-year-old Christian Laws had concluded in the 1800 block of North Cole Street. Laws was shot and killed June 14 in the 2400 block of Lark Avenue. Jolade Omosikeji Jr. has been charged with murder in Laws’ death.