Zack Sinclair, charged with not staying away from Mel, will be his own attorney

By Stephen M. Silverman
March 02, 2005 08:00 AM

A so-called pious drifter accused of stalking Mel Gibson in the hope of discussing The Passion of the Christ with the filmmaker said Monday that he will serve as his own attorney in a trial in which Gibson is expected to be called to the stand.

Zack Sinclair, 34, arrested for allegedly violating an order to stay away from the actor-director, told Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John S. Fisher on Monday that he will be representing himself. Jury selection has already began in what is expected to be a six-day trial, the Associated Press reports.

Introducing himself to the jury pool, the boyish-looking Sinclair stood up, shrugged and said: “I don’t have any witnesses. I’m just Zack Sinclair, defending myself,” reports Court TV.

The jurist informed prospective jurors that the defendant is legally entitled to waive his right to an attorney and the decision should not affect their judgment of him.

When the jury pool was out of the room, Fisher said Sinclair need not be handcuffed in the courtroom but must limit his movement. “There’s no walking around, there’s no coming up to the bench,” Fisher warned.

Sinclair was arrested in September for investigation of stalking Gibson after he allegedly arrived at the star’s Malibu estate asking to pray with Gibson, 49.

Sinclair was again arrested on Oct. 7 after allegedly violating a court order to stay away from Gibson and his family. If convicted of stalking, Sinclair faces a maximum sentence of three years.