WILLIAMS (ALAN TROY) VS. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKYAnnotate this Case
RENDERED: OCTOBER 31, 2008; 10:00 A.M.
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Court of Appeals
ALAN TROY WILLIAMS
APPEAL FROM SIMPSON CIRCUIT COURT
HONORABLE WILLIAM R. HARRIS, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 04-CR-00172
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
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BEFORE: CAPERTON AND CLAYTON, JUDGES; GUIDUGLI,1 SENIOR
GUIDUGLI, SENIOR JUDGE: Alan Troy Williams pled guilty to an amended
charge of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense. After a
combined penalty phase and persistent felony offender proceeding before a
Simpson County jury, Williams was sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. On
Senior Judge Daniel T. Guidugli sitting as Special Judge by assignment of the Chief Justice
pursuant to Section 110(5)(b) of the Kentucky Constitution and KRS 21.580.
appeal, the sole issue is whether the trial court erred by misstating the context of
hybrid representation and, thereby, depriving Williams of his right to selfrepresentation. We affirm.
On September 9, 2003, the Kentucky State Police engaged in an
undercover operation attempting to buy crack cocaine in Simpson County,
Kentucky. The officer first encountered an individual on the street who directed
the officer to pull the car around the corner. Williams then arrived on bicycle and
sold the officer a plastic bag of crack cocaine. Williams was indicted for firstdegree trafficking in a controlled substance, second or subsequent offense,
engaging in organized crime, and for being a first-degree persistent felony
In December 2005, Williams moved to dismiss his counsel, have new
counsel appointed, and to serve as co-counsel. The trial court held a hearing on
January 18, 2006, where Williams stated that he had not been able to communicate
sufficiently with counsel, that there were issues as to the chain of custody, and that
he wished to have the drugs independently tested. As the hearing progressed, the
trial court noted and Williams agreed that the actual issue was sufficient time to
prepare for trial and ultimately granted a continuance. Then the court held a
hearing pursuant to Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975), and addressed
Williams's motion to make a limited waiver of counsel and to serve as co-counsel.
The trial court gave a series of warnings about the dangers of relinquishing the
right to counsel and questioned Williams under oath. The hearing concluded with
the trial court asking Williams directly if he wished to serve as co-counsel.
Williams responded that he no longer wanted to serve as co-counsel once he fully
understood the risks.
On May 4, 2006, the issue of a plea bargain was raised on the
morning of trial. Williams initially rejected the Commonwealth's offer and
restated his dissatisfaction with counsel. After voir dire, the court became aware
of Williams's desire to enter a “naked plea” and warned him that he would be
sentenced by the jury and not the court. Williams stated that he was not aware that
the jury would sentence him. The court continued with the trial and opening
arguments were made by both parties. The jury was then dismissed and the court
conducted a plea colloquy. Williams admitted that he was guilty of the amended
charge of trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, but would not plead
guilty to being a first-degree PFO. The charge of engaging in organized crime was
dismissed. The jury sentenced Williams to ten years for the trafficking charge
enhanced to a total a fifteen years' imprisonment by the PFO conviction. This
Williams argues that the trial court misstated the context of hybrid
representation and essentially dissuaded him from pursuing his right to selfrepresentation. Williams contends that the court went too far in depth in its
inquiry as to whether he was capable of representing himself.
In Hill v. Commonwealth, 125 S.W.3d 221, 225 (Ky. 2004), the
Supreme Court of Kentucky recognized the right to hybrid representation
guaranteed by Section 11 of the Kentucky Constitution. Our Supreme Court
stated a trial court's Faretta duties as follows:
First, the trial court must hold a hearing in which the
defendant testifies on the question of whether the waiver
is voluntary, knowing, and intelligent. Second, during
the hearing, the trial court must warn the defendant of
the hazards arising from and the benefits relinquished by
waiving counsel. Third, the trial court must make a
finding on the record that the waiver is knowing,
intelligent, and voluntary.
A waiver of counsel is ineffective unless all three
requirements are met.
Id. at 226(internal citations omitted).
The trial court held a Faretta hearing at which Williams testified,
thus satisfying the first requirement. The court then questioned Williams
regarding his education and familiarity with the penal code and rules of evidence.
Williams replied that he had read some of the Controlled Substances Act, but was
unfamiliar with the Kentucky Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rules of Evidence.
Williams also testified that he had never observed a jury trial. The court went on
to describe the duties of counsel in conducting a trial such as the presentation of
evidence and the questioning of witnesses. The court explained that the risk of
tactical and procedural decision-making would fall upon Williams. Williams
stated that other inmates at the penitentiary had advised him to move to serve as
co-counsel, but had not fully explained the consequences of that action. Finally,
the court asked Williams directly if he wished to serve as a co-counsel. Williams
replied in the negative. There was no error in the warnings given to Williams by
the trial court. See Wilson v. Commonwealth, 836 S.W.2d 872, 882-83 (Ky. 1992),
overruled on other grounds by St. Clair v. Roark, 10 S.W.3d 482, 487 (Ky. 1999).
Our review of the record indicates that the trial court fulfilled its duties under Hill,
Accordingly, the judgment of the Simpson Circuit Court is affirmed.
BRIEF FOR APPELLANT:
BRIEF FOR APPELLEE:
Angela J. Johnson
Assistant Public Advocate
Department of Public Advocacy
Gregory D. Stumbo
Attorney General of Kentucky
Todd D. Ferguson
Assistant Attorney General