Accused Mar-a-Lago intruder allowed to be her own attorney
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Chinese woman charged with illegally entering President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort will be allowed to act as her own attorney.
Federal Judge Roy Altman granted Yujing Zhang’s request Tuesday to fire her public defenders and represent herself.
Altman found Zhang competent and intelligent, but strongly tried to talk her out of her decision. She insisted, however. She asked that the hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, be conducted in English but struggled at times understanding the judge. For example, she didn’t know “counsel” is a synonym for lawyer. Altman ordered that she be provided with law books and the evidence against her. He told her to study.
The 33-year-old Zhang has pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing March 30 at Mar-a-Lago and lying to Secret Service agents.