Quintin D. E. Davis, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Delaware Circuit Court The Honorable Marianne
Vorhees, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 18C01-1801-F6-21
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Alan K. Wilson Muncie, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Samuel J. Dayton Deputy Attorney General
OF THE CASE
Appellant-Defendant, Quintin D.E. Davis (Davis), appeals his
conviction for domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor, Ind.
Code § 35-42-2-1.3(a)(1).
Davis presents this court with one issue on appeal, which we
restate as: Whether the trial court abused its discretion by
denying Davis' request for appointment of counsel made
during the bench trial and more than one year after affirming
his request for self-representation.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Davis and L.W. met at their place of employment during June
or July 2017. They began dating one month later and in
September 2017, they moved into an apartment, together with
L.W.'s two children from a previous relationship. On
January 1, 2018, Davis and L.W. argued when Davis intended to
drink the last bottle of Pepsi. L.W. squeezed the bottom of
the bottle, spilling the Pepsi. In response, Davis grabbed
her bag of Skittles. When L.W. did not react, Davis banged
her phone against the side of the bed and shattered the
screen. At that point, L.W. was "ready to leave."
(Transcript p. 74). However, Davis apologized and gave L.W.
his phone to break, which she did.
The following morning, L.W. started packing her belongings,
intending to move out. Davis grabbed L.W.'s cigarettes
and they began to argue. He pushed L.W. and caused her to
fall on top of her two-year-old son. When L.W. moved towards
her closet, Davis pinned her down and hit her in the face.
She fought her way towards the entrance of the bedroom before
Davis pinned her arms to her legs. L.W.'s daughter, who
was down the hall, started crying. L.W. managed to free
herself by biting Davis' chin and she escaped to the
neighbor's apartment where she called 911. After making
the call, she returned to the apartment and Davis and L.W.
began "going at it again." (Tr. p. 76). Davis
grabbed L.W.'s laptop out of her hands and broke it in
two pieces. L.W. lost her balance, and fell on a glass table
which Davis kicked in an attempt to shatter it. Shortly
thereafter, police officers arrived. While the officers
attempted to arrest him, Davis talked loudly and used
profanity directed at the officers. He tensed his arms,
balled his fists, and was non-compliant with the
On January 9, 2018, the State filed an Information, charging
Davis with Count I, battery against a public safety officer,
a Level 6 felony; Count II, domestic battery, a Class A
misdemeanor; and Count III, resisting law enforcement, a
Class A misdemeanor. On January 17, 2018, during the
pre-trial hearing, Davis informed the trial court that he
intended to represent himself. The trial court noted the
request and set it for a hearing. On January 24, 2018, the
trial court conducted a hearing to address Davis' request
to represent himself. Davis advised the trial court that he
was twenty-six, had a high school diploma, and had completed
some college education. He did not have any learning
disabilities, and understood and read the English language.
Davis disclosed that he had never before participated in a
jury trial, but had been charged with a Class A misdemeanor
in the past. Davis confirmed that although he had the right
to have an attorney appointed for him, he wanted to waive
that right and instead represent himself. He affirmed that he
had made that choice voluntarily and out of his own free
will. The trial court proceeded to explain the disadvantages
of self-representation versus the advantages of being
represented by an attorney, trained in the rules of evidence
and procedural mechanisms. Davis acknowledged that he
understood the trial court's cautionary advice but wanted
to proceed pro se. Finding Davis competent, the
trial court concluded that he had voluntarily waived his
right to an attorney and advised him that "if [he] d[id]
want an attorney at any time, all [he] ha[d] to do [wa]s send
[the court] a letter, or a motion, and" the trial court
would assign Davis an attorney. (Tr. p. 17).
During the pre-trial hearing of September 12, 2018, the trial
court enquired after Davis' preferred bench trial date
setting, either December 20, 2018 or January 24, 2019. Davis
explicitly confirmed the latter date. On November 19, 2018,
Davis signed a discovery receipt acknowledging that he had
received the charging Information and ...