COLUMBIA CITY — A South Bend man plans to represent himself in a jury trial on April 10.
Deandrew Halliburton, 25, has been charged with auto theft and theft, level 5 and level 6 felonies, respectively, for an incident that allegedly took place Dec. 13, 2018, in Churubusco.
Halliburton decided to represent himself, despite much discussion from Whitley Circuit Judge Matthew Rentschler, who advised Halliburton of the “dangers of self-representation.”
Halliburton indicated that his highest level of education is a GED, and that he does not have formal education in law. Rentschler offered to screen Halliburton for a public defender, but he declined.
Prosecutor D.J. Sigler filed an intent to seek an enhanced penalty because Halliburton was previously convicted of auto theft in Elkhart County.
According to a police report, Halliburton allegedly stole a Cadillac sedan from a residence in rural Churubusco. He was reportedly a guest in the home. In addition to the vehicle, he is accused of taking other items from the home, including video games, shoes, a Gucci belt, a Playstation, jewelry and hats.
The vehicle was later located by the Michigan State Police in Cadillac, Michigan. Though it was being driven by another individual, Halliburton was reportedly a passenger in the stolen vehicle. The Michigan State Police reported that some of the stolen items were inside the vehicle.
According to a report by the Michigan police, the driver did not have a valid driver’s license, and Halliburton was in the passenger seat with a baseball bat between his legs. When asked why, he reportedly told police, “I like baseball.”
There will be a pretrial conference for the case on April 8 in Whitley Circuit Court. Halliburton requested a speedy trial. He was booked into the Whitley County Jail on Feb. 6, where he has remained on a $30,000 surety bond.