BROOKSVILLE – Richard Shere, who is on death row for the 1987 Christmas Day murder of Drew Paul Snyder, appeared in court on Thursday.
Shere, now 47, was 23 years old in 1989 when a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, and sentenced him to death.
Judge Anthony Tatti, an Assistant State Attorney then, prosecuted the case.
Shere has been appealing his sentence, and on Thursday, told Judge Daniel Merritt Jr. he’d like to represent himself moving forward, in front of the Florida Supreme Court. Court documents show Shere filed multiple motions with the clerk’s office back in March, including a motion for habeas corpus, a motion to suppress evidence from his January 1988 arrest and detention, and to dismiss his previous attorney, Frank Bankowitz, of Orlando.
Court documents show Bankowitz spent 45.4 hours on Shere’s case between January and August 2012, charging $100 an hour, paid by the state.
In a hand-written statement, Shere wrote he was “exercising his right to self-representation” because of “rogue, post-conviction counsel’s neglect, abandonment, failure to communicate in any manner and failure to perform his required obligatory duties …”
Shere questioned if Bankowitz was “still alive,” and said the attorney was not even “legally allowed to accept a death penalty case.”
Merritt asked Shere a series of questions to establish competency. Shere told Merritt he had 10 years of schooling, and had not been forced or coerced to represent himself.
“Mr. Shere, I suppose the Titanic had a captain,” Merritt said, determining him able to represent himself. “I’m not saying that’s your particular case, perhaps you can navigate the icebergs.”