Judge denies Joseph Ward's request to represent himself after outburst in court

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The trial against the man accused of sexual assault, robbery and kidnapping was delayed as Joseph Ward told the judge he was not happy with his defense attorney and was willing to represent himself in court if allowed.

"I'm denying your request for self-representation because it's untimely and I already denied your request to substitute counsel because again that was untimely," said Hon. Kristi Kapetan.

It was at least the second time this week where Ward disrupted the courtroom while speaking out of turn.

RELATED: Joseph Ward's phone was off during alleged sexual assault of nanny, says officer

Ward then told the judge he had evidence that could clear his name, but his defense was not willing to introduce it

Hon. Kapetan: "As I told you before its not a time for dialog so you speak through counsel."
Ward: "How do I get evidence in that I want?
Hon. Kapetan: "You speak through counsel. You're represented by counsel."

Members of the jury were not present during the vocal exchange. After a short recess, the judge explained why she would not allow Ward to represent himself.

"The conduct of the defendant in court gives the court reason to believe that if he was allowed to represent himself he may cause a disruption in the proceedings as he's already done so," Hon. Kapetan said.

Prosecutors say Ward forced his way into a northeast Fresno home last summer and sexually assaulted a 25-year-old nanny.

RELATED: Northeast Fresno nanny describes sexual assault, robbery and identifies attacker

If convicted he faces up to 180 years in prison

The defense offered a theory of a different suspect and called that man to the stand today, but he elected to evoke his Fifth Amendment right and refused to answer any questions.
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