SUSAN POLK FIRES ATTORNEY DANIEL HOROWITZ
Susan Polk, who had told Superior Court Judge Laurel Brady last week that she wanted to dump Daniel Horowitz, can indeed defend herself on charges that she killed her husband, Berkeley psychotherapist Felix Polk, the judge said.
But it was unclear after today's hearing in Martinez whether Polk, 48, will be ready for a trial scheduled to begin Jan. 31. She is charged with killing her husband in their Orinda home in October 2002 during an acrimonious divorce. She insists that she acted in self-defense.
In court today, Brady warned Polk, who previously has acted as her own attorney, to behave herself in court. The judge also told Polk that what she was doing could pose some problems.
"It is a risky way to proceed," Brady said. "It's certainly not recommended. It's your choice, and I've granted your request."
When the judge asked Polk if she would be ready for trial, she didn't answer directly but instead said she planned to file several motions, including one renewing her demand that every judge in Contra Costa County be barred from presiding over the trial.
During the hearing, Horowitz agreed that he could no longer represent Polk. Afterward, he said he accepted Brady's decision and wished Polk the best. The judge also removed his co-counsel, Ivan Golde, from the case, leaving Polk without counsel. Polk did ask for the attorneys' assistant, Valerie Harris, to continue helping her.