NEW PORT RICHEY
Man to handle own death penalty case
Lawrence Kenneth Tener disliked his defense team so much that he wanted to represent himself at trial — while facing the death penalty for first-degree murder. A circuit judge granted his request on Thursday.
Tener told the judge he can't stand Assistant Public Defenders Dean Livermore and Michael Tewell.
Tener complained that they didn't successfully defend him from the 2004 aggravated battery charge he was convicted of in December.
Authorities say that incident led to the discovery of Tammy Lee Bowles' body on Tener's property and his subsequent arrest for her murder.
Circuit Judge Jack Day asked Tener if he wanted some legal help, just in case.
"As long as it's not him," Tener said of Livermore.
The judge then declined to give the defendant any.
Tener, 26, has completed the 10th grade and has no formal legal training. He'll go up against Assistant State Attorney Mary Handsel, who has been a prosecutor for 18 years and has tried 10 death cases.
The trial date has not been set.