APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF OKLAHOMA COUNTY THE
HONORABLE RAY C. ELLIOTT, DISTRICT JUDGE
McCORMICK ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT
GRIDLEY JOSH YOUNG COUNSEL FOR THE STATE
K. WALKER ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT
SCOTT PRUITT OKLAHOMA ATTORNEY GENERAL THEODORE M. PEEPER
ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE
Appellant, Reuben Juan Lamar, was tried and convicted by a
jury of Count 2: Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, After Two
Prior Felony Convictions, in violation of 21 O.S.2011, §
801; Count 5: Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, After Two Prior
Felony Convictions, in violation of 21 O.S.2011, § 421;
and Count 6: Burglary in the First Degree, After Two Prior
Felony Convictions, in violation of 21 O.S.2011, § 1431,
in the District Court of Oklahoma County, Case No.
CF-2012-7029.  The jury recommended a sentence of
twenty (20) years imprisonment on Count 2, four (4) years
imprisonment on Count 5, and twenty (20) years imprisonment
on Count 6. 
At formal sentencing, the Honorable Ray C. Elliott, District
Judge, sentenced Appellant in accordance with the jury's
verdicts and ordered the sentences for Counts 2 and 5 to run
concurrently and the sentence for Count 6 to run
consecutively to the sentences on Counts 2 and 5 and
consecutive to Appellant's sentences in Case Nos.
CF-2009-7147, CF-2010-4451 and CF-2012-7211. Judge Elliott
ordered credit for time served and also ordered
post-imprisonment supervision of not less than nine (9)
months, nor more than one (1) year. Lamar now appeals,
raising nine propositions of error. We affirm.
On October 24, 2012, Appellant, Britnie Wiggins and Donnie
Parton  were driving around south Oklahoma
City looking for a way to come up with some fast cash.
Wiggins was particularly desperate for cash. Her rent was due
and, by her own admission, she "was tired and...
didn't want to go work." Wiggins and the others were
also high on methamphetamine. To score some cash, Wiggins
suggested the trio "hit a lick" meaning they
"go rob somebody". After some deliberation, Parton
suggested they rob his grandmother, Debbie Parton. Within
five minutes, Appellant drove the trio to Debbie's
south Oklahoma City residence where they parked and kicked-in
the front door.
Debbie lived in her home with Chase Parton, her son, and
Chase's girlfriend, Chelsea Alexander. Around 11 p.m. on
October 24th, Debbie was falling asleep on the couch in the
den when she heard three loud bangs followed by the
appearance in her home of a man wearing sunglasses and
several bandanas covering his neck and face. This man walked
to the back of the house towards Chase's bedroom. When
Debbie got up to investigate, she found her front door kicked
in. She also discovered two other intruders--Appellant and
Wiggins--standing inside her home. Appellant had a handgun
with a red laser sight and was smoking a Black and Mild
Chase was walking towards the front door when the intruders
kicked it open and came inside. Wiggins forced Chase into the
bathroom and unsuccessfully attempted to handcuff him. In the
back bedroom, Donnie Parton told Chelsea
Alexander--Chase's girlfriend--to get down on the ground.
A few minutes later, Debbie, Chase and Chelsea were seated
around the dining room table by their attackers and held at
gunpoint by Appellant. Parton and Wiggins ransacked the
entire house and stole the victims' valuables. This
included two televisions, Debbie and Chelsea's purses,
Debbie's jewelry, the house phone, food from the kitchen
and Chase's game console.
Appellant chatted with his hostages as their home was
ransacked. Appellant sarcastically asked the victims how
their day was going and mentioned he was a gang member. At
one point, Appellant pointed the gun at Chase and forced him
to help move a television. Appellant also forced Debbie to
hand over the keys to her 93 Ford Mustang which was parked in
the garage. When Debbie tried to remove her house key from
the key ring, Wiggins slapped her in the ear causing it to
bleed. Appellant told his captives that he wanted drugs and
money; Debbie replied that they did not have any drugs or
After searching the house, Appellant told the victims not to
call the police or he would come back and "get us".
Appellant and his two accomplices then left not only with the
victims' property from inside the house but also
Debbie's Ford Mustang. Despite Appellant's threat,
Debbie walked across the street to a neighbor's house and
called 911. The police arrived soon thereafter and Debbie,
Chase and Chelsea gave statements about what happened. A
crime scene investigator recovered a partially smoked cigar
tip found near the front door and submitted it for forensic
examination. Police also found a pair of handcuffs on the
dining room table. Several days later, police showed the
victims a photo lineup during which Chase and Chelsea
identified Appellant, who was pictured in one of the
photographs, as the black robber with the gun.
On November 1, 2012, Wiggins gave a statement to police in
which she implicated herself, Appellant and Donnie Parton in
the robbery at Debbie Parton's house. That same day,
police executed a search warrant at a south Oklahoma City
apartment Wiggins shared with Appellant. The police found
inside the apartment, inter alia, a Discover credit
card in Chelsea Alexander's name. Chelsea's credit
card was inside the purse stolen from her during the October
Detective Eddie Dyer later obtained a search warrant
authorizing the collection of Appellant's DNA using
buccal swabs of the inside of Appellant's cheek. Campbell
Ruddick, the DNA manager for the OCPD Forensic Laboratory,
conducted DNA testing of both the cigar tip recovered from
the crime scene and Appellant's known biological sample
on the buccal swabs. Ruddick developed DNA profiles from both
items. Ruddick's comparison of these profiles revealed
that the DNA found on the cigar tip matched Appellant's
known DNA profile. The probability of selecting an unrelated
person at random from the population having this same genetic
profile was one in 67.16 quintillion Caucasians, one in 13.9
quintillion African Americans and one in 2.3286 sextillion
Southwest Hispanics. A quintillion has 21 zeroes behind it.
In his first proposition of error, Appellant complains that
he was denied the right to represent himself at trial. The
record shows that on March 19, 2014, Appellant filed with the
trial court a one-page handwritten motion requesting to
proceed pro se in the case. Appellant requested six
(6) months in which to prepare for trial along with
production of full discovery for his case. Appellant
acknowledged he would be held to the same responsibilities as
counsel but believed this was the only way to "assure
that there is not a miscarriage of justice of [sic] this
matter." Appellant concluded his motion with a request
for a hearing.
Judge Donald L. Deason was originally assigned to this case
and held three separate pre-trial hearings on Appellant's
motion. At the first hearing, Appellant stated that he wanted
to go pro se because the appointed public defender
was ineffective, "not doing his job" and "not
really trying to help me, I feel." Appellant explained
that defense counsel waited eighteen (18) or twenty (20)
months before talking to him about the case. Appellant stated
that he believed he could do a better job than counsel in
handling the case. Judge Deason denied Appellant's motion
after asking Appellant basic questions about trial procedure
which Appellant could not answer. Appellant offered, however,
that his ignorance of the law was the reason he asked for six
months in which to prepare for trial. Judge Deason found that
Appellant "[did not] have even the most basic knowledge
to represent [himself]" and that Appellant was "in
way over your head on this." A trial date was set for
August 25, 2014.
On August 22, 2014, a call docket was held during which the
prosecutor expressed his understanding that Appellant was
withdrawing his previous request to go pro se and
instead wished to proceed to trial with his appointed
counsel. When Judge Deason asked Appellant if this was
correct, Appellant stated that he previously raised the issue
and it had been ruled on by the Court. When asked by Judge
Deason whether Appellant wished to proceed to trial with his
attorney, Appellant responded "Yeah. Due to the fact
that I was denied, yes."
The prosecutor expressed his view that additional questioning
was necessary to address this issue and "if he wants to
proceed with his appointed attorney... he needs to make that
without any conditions of any previous ruling." The
following exchange occurred:
DEFENDANT LAMAR: I did that earlier, the first time.
THE COURT: I've addressed that earlier, and I found that
though he, like anybody else, has a right to represent
himself, Mr. Lamar does not have even the most basic legal
knowledge that would help him get through a jury trial. He
doesn't even know how to start it, what to do during a
trial. With what he's looking at on these charges, I, in
good conscience--And I've made my ruling on that.
So, Mr. Lamar, just a straight-up question: Do you desire to
proceed with your counsel at this time.
DEFENDANT LAMAR: (No answer).
THE COURT: Yes or no?
DEFENDANT LAMAR: (No answer).
THE COURT: It's not a trick question.
DEFENDANT LAMAR: Well, I think your ruling that I was denied,
and you're standing by that, then I guess I'll
THE COURT: I'd like for you to answer my question. Do you
desire to proceed with your counsel, yes or no?
DEFENDANT LAMAR: I'm not going to answer that question.
THE COURT: I can't hear you.
DEFENDANT LAMAR: I'm not going to answer that question.
(8/22/2014 Tr. 5-6).
Appellant persisted in this manner despite Judge Deason
urging him to reconsider and answer the question. Defense
counsel stated, in response to the court's subsequent
questions, that Appellant had been cooperative with him and
had been participating in preparing a defense. Judge Deason
stated that Appellant's refusal to answer the court's
questions was yet another reason, in addition to his lack of
legal knowledge, why Appellant should not be representing
himself at trial. The prosecutor asked for leave to present
additional research on the issue which the trial court agreed
to hear and then moved on to other matters.
The prosecutor and defense counsel also engaged Appellant and
attempted to get a straight answer concerning his wishes to
proceed to trial pro se but to no avail; Appellant
would not answer the question. Defense counsel inquired of
Judge Deason whether the court would grant a continuance
should Appellant choose to represent himself. This prompted
the following exchange:
THE COURT: If Mr. Lamar told me clearly and unequivocally
that he wants to represent himself, if I give him the
appropriate warnings as to what the pit falls of that are and
knowing those pitfalls and understanding that he still wished
to represent himself, I ...