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SUSAN POLK ON TRIAL FOR THE MURDER OF HUSBAND FELIX POLK

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Oct 22 08 3:50 PM

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NEW TRIAL DATE SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 31, 2006

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/baycitynews/archive/2005/12/02/polk02.DTL

"A judge today maintained a Jan. 31 trial date for 47-year-old Susan Polk of Orinda on charges that she murdered her husband, 70-year-old psychotherapist Felix Polk"

At a wild hearing today, Polk accused Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Laurel Brady and her clerk of having conflicts of interest and also alleged that Brady was lying on behalf of prosecutors.

Polk talked so much at the hearing that Brady finally warned her to quiet down and let her lawyers make objections on her behalf."

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Oct 22 08 3:51 PM

SUSAN POLK FIRES ATTORNEY DANIEL HOROWITZ

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/20/MNG6RGQIAH56.DTL

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During the hearing, Horowitz agreed that he could no longer represent Polk.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.

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Oct 22 08 3:52 PM

POLK'S MOTHER THINKS IT'S A MISTAKE FIRING HOROWITZ

Polk has fired previous attorneys and has frequently clashed with the judge and refused to allow Horowitz to speak on her behalf. Her feelings toward Horowitz had varied widely, from a belief that "I was the greatest attorney on earth" to a desire to fire him, he said.

Polk's mother, Helen Bolling, 72, attended the hearing and said afterward that she believed her daughter was jeopardizing her future by representing herself.

"I'm not happy with it at all," Bolling said. "I think she's making a terrible mistake." She said of Horowitz, "He's the most compassionate and empathetic human being I've ever met."

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Oct 22 08 3:55 PM

POLKS STATEMENTS REGARDING THE MURDER OF HOROWITZ'S WIFE CAUSE HOROWITZ TO WITHDRAW FROM THE CASE

"Horowitz withdrew from the case on Jan. 20 because he said he had "a direct conflict" in continuing to represent Polk because of what he described as "public statements by her out of the courtroom."

He apparently was referring to Polk's statements to reporters that she believes Horowitz might have been involved in the Oct. 15 murder of his wife, 52-year-old Pamela Vitale, an event that occurred during Polk's first trial.

Vitale's was found bludgeoned to death in the couple's Lafayette home.

Brady declared a mistrial in Polk's first trial last October because she believed that Horowitz wouldn't be able to focus on Polk's case. "

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Oct 22 08 3:56 PM

SUSAN POLK FIRED TRIAL ASSISTANT VALERIE HARRIS

March 30, 2006

The prosecutor, Paul Sequeira, has refused to deal directly with Susan Polk, who he believes is delusional. Valerie Harris, who assisted Daniel Horrowitz during his tenure as Susan Polk's attorney stayed on after his departure to assist Polk as a case manager and a liason between Polk and the prosecutor.

Harris's assistance has come to an abrupt end.

Polk fired Valerie Harris today. Harris apparently talked to the Judge in order to confirm that Polk could indeed fire her.

No reason was given publicly for the sudden firing.

"Harris has had a rocky tenure with Polk, finding herself repeatedly shushed and reprimanded for failing to perform even routine tasks exactly as Polk demanded."

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