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Monday, June 18, 2018, 8:23 a.m.

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Suspect in fatal shooting of toddler clashes with his Little Rock attorney at hearing; ‘I’m done,’ lawyer tells court

By John Lynch

This article was published June 12, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

gary-holmes-sr-34-right-faces-one-count-of-capital-murder-and-two-counts-of-committing-a-terrorist-act-in-the-death-of-3-year-old-acen-king-left-in-little-rock-on-saturday-dec-17-2016

Gary Holmes Sr., 34, (right) faces one count of capital murder and two counts of committing a terrorist act in the death of 3-year-old Acen King (left) in Little Rock on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016.

The 34-year-old Little Rock man accused of murdering a toddler in a December 2016 road-rage shooting and his lawyer appeared to go through an acrimonious breakup in court Monday, about two months before trial.

Gary Eugene Holmes and attorney Ron Davis clashed openly, with Holmes complaining that Davis is not doing a good enough job for him. Davis said he'd reached such an impasse with Holmes that he cannot go on being his lawyer.

Davis said he'll soon be filing a formal request to withdraw from the case, a move that could delay a trial that has already been pushed back once.

Davis would have to be released from representation by the judge. Holmes would then either have to hire a new lawyer or accept representation from the public defender. Any attorney taking on his case would likely ask for some significant time to prepare for trial. Holmes is scheduled to stand trial on Aug. 21, and Davis has said he was planning an insanity defense, possibly with a hired psychiatrist.

Monday was supposed to be Holmes' final pretrial hearing. Instead, he stood up next to Davis and began talking directly to Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims.

"I'd like to address the court," Holmes began as he launched into a complaint about Davis supposedly failing to advise him on some issue related to his probation.

Holmes is charged with first-degree murder and committing a terroristic act over accusations he fired the gunshot that killed 3-year-old Acen Ahmeer King about two weeks before Christmas 2016. The toddler was in the back seat of his grandmother's car at the intersection of Warren and Geyer Springs roads when he was hit by a single bullet.

Holmes, who was on probation for a domestic battering conviction at the time, told police he had accidentally fired a gun at a car at the intersection.

[HOMICIDE MAP: Interactive map of Little Rock's 2016 killings]

At least one witness who was with Holmes at the time of the shooting told police Holmes fired at the car because he was mad at the driver for following him to closely.

As Holmes was speaking, the judge tried to discourage him, telling Holmes he should let his attorney speak for him. Judges regularly try to keep defendants from saying anything in open court out of concern they might say something incriminating.

But Holmes, who was under guard by sheriff's deputies and had his hands shackled to his waist, kept talking, saying he'd petitioned for a change of venue and that he wanted Davis removed as his attorney because he wasn't doing a good job, although he had been paid $12,000.

Davis, who is a widely respected defense attorney based in Little Rock, told the judge he had not yet been fully paid for his work. He's been representing Holmes at least 18 months but he told the judge that the attorney-client relationship was broken beyond repair.

"I can't represent him if he keeps talking over me," Davis told the judge as Holmes kept on talking. "I'll tell you right now, I'm done. I'm done."

Metro on 06/12/2018

Print Headline: Killing suspect, his LR attorney clash at hearing; ‘I’m done,’ lawyer tells court

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