The Richmond Register

Crime

January 9, 2014

Doctor accused of wanton endangerment asks to represent himself

RICHMOND — An Indiana doctor accused of creating a dangerous situation when he pointed a BB gun at another driver on Interstate 75 announced Thursday in Madison Circuit Court that he wants to represent himself in the case.

Perrin T. Dobyns, 51, of Corydon, Ind., is charged with first-degree wanton endangerment in a Sept. 29 incident caught on smartphone video by the other driver. If convicted of the felony charge, Dobyns faces a sentence of one to five years in prison.

Dobyns’ attorney, Jim Baechtold, filed a motion to withdraw as the doctor’s legal counsel in the case. When asked by Judge Jean C. Logue if he understood the motion and would be seeking a new attorney, Dobyns attempted to explain why he no longer wanted Baechtold as his attorney.

Baechtold asked the judge repeatedly to review the motion “in camera,” meaning not in open court.

Logue advised Dobyns to not discuss the matter further, and the defendant then requested that his case be expedited as quickly as possible.

Logue said she could set a date for a jury trial.

“Is a jury trial absolutely necessary?” Dobyns asked.

He added that the case did not involved matters of fact, “just matters of law.”

“There’s some extenuating circumstances you might want to know about,” the doctor told Logue.

Logue again advised Dobyns not to speak out in court. At that point, Dobyns asked to go forward in the case pro se, meaning he wants to represent himself instead of hiring another attorney.

The judge informed him that a hearing would have to be scheduled to ensure he understands the procedures and responsibilities of legal self-representation. The hearing was set for 10 a.m. Jan. 30.

“I would highly advise you to talk to an attorney,” Logue told him.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith also told the judge that Dobyns had tried to speak to her prior to the pretrial hearing without representation. Logue warned Dobyns it was not in his best interest to speak to the state attorneys who are prosecuting him.

The driver who alleged Dobyns pointed a weapon at him told the Kentucky State Police he saw a vehicle driven by Dobyns on Sept. 29 pass another vehicle in the emergency lane and then drive recklessly in what appeared to be an attempt to run that vehicle off the road.

The incident occurred in Madison County along I-75, according to the KSP.

The driver, David Kollar, used his smartphone to shoot video of Dobyns’ car, and when he pulled up beside Dobyns, the doctor can be seen in the video pointing what appeared to be a handgun at Kollar.

The indictment states the weapon was a BB gun.

Police were able to use information from the video, including the vehicle’s license plate number, to identify Dobyns and issue a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested the same day in Indiana.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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