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NZ Mass Shooting Suspect 'Doesn't Want a Lawyer'

Homes of Tarrant's mother, sister searched
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2019 6:41 AM CDT
Mourners lay flowers on a wall at the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, March 18, 2019.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
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(Newser) – The Australian man accused of massacring 50 people in two New Zealand mosques has decided to represent himself, according to the duty lawyer he was assigned after his arrest. Richard Peters, the New Zealand system's equivalent of a public defender, tells the New Zealand Herald that Brenton Tarrant seemed "quite clear and lucid" and didn't seem to be facing any "mental impairment" apart from his "fairly extreme views." Tarrant's decision to represent himself raises fears that he will use his trial to promote white supremacist views, though Peters notes that it will be the job of the judge to deal with grandstanding in court, and the judge "isn't going to be very sympathetic to him" if Tarrant tries it. More:

  • The investigation. Police have searched the homes of Tarrant's mother and sister in eastern Australia looking for anything that could help New Zealand investigators, the AP reports. Mother Sharon Tarrant and sister Lauren Tarrant, who are believed to be in protective custody, did not speak to the media. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Tarrant, who grew up in the town of Grafton, has only spent 45 days in Australia over the last three years.

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