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The 'Just Clowning Around' Defense Doesn't Get Far

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. It's said the man who represents himself in court has a fool for a lawyer. Not saying that's true here, but a Massachusetts man representing himself in court apparently has a clown for a lawyer. Orlando Melendez is accused of robbing a convenience store with a toy gun. He says he was just clowning around because he's a real clown. Sadly, the judge denied the defendant's motion to prove he is a clown by juggling in court. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.