DETROIT — A Michigan inmate who was released in March after 10 years in prison when a federal judge found he had been wrongfully convicted of carjacking, armed robbery and other charges is back behind bars.
Omar Pouncy, 29, of Flint, has been held since late September in the Oakland County Jail on a weapons charge, the Detroit Free Press reported (http://on.freep.com/2e2zsio ). On Monday, the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office said it would try to reinstate Pouncy’s original conviction and 75-year sentence.
The carjackings were in 2005. Pouncy, then 18 years old, acted as his own attorney at trial. He said a Genesee County judge wouldn’t let him hire a lawyer. A federal judge ruled Pouncy’s waiver of counsel was involuntary because he was forced to choose between an unprepared defense attorney and representing himself.
Defense attorney David Moffitt has worked with Pouncy on his case in recent years and hired him as legal assistant. Moffitt said he can’t believe the new charge.
“He works side by side with me, 12 hours a day, and some Saturdays. I’ve had several attorneys and a judge praise the quality of his work,” Moffitt said. He said that the way police searched Pouncy’s house and found a handgun implied improper police techniques.
Farmington Hills police Chief Charles Nebus said that Pouncy’s latest encounter with police happened Sept. 20, when an officer on patrol heard gunshots Nebus said an officer found 16 shell casings on the porch floor, Pouncy came outside and was detained.
Police, using a search warrant, searched the house, turning up a handgun, rifle and ammunition, Nebus said.
“We got some fingerprints that tied him to the firearms. But we have no reports of anyone hurt, any damage to any property, so there was no additional charge of reckless discharge of a firearm,” Nebus said. Pouncy was booked Sept. 23 on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com