- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A federal appeals court says a judge did not make a mistake when he allowed a North Dakota man to represent himself in a drug distribution case.

A jury in January 2015 convicted Sean Conklin, of Rugby, on one count of distribution of methamphetamine and one count of distribution of heroin. Conklin was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.

Conklin argued in his appeal that U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland violated his right to have an attorney represent him because Conklin did not “unequivocally state” his intent to represent himself. Conklin said the conviction should be overturned.

In affirming the verdict, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals says that although Conklin never “expressly asked” to represent himself, he refused appointed counsel and ignored Hovland’s pretrial deadline for resolving issue.

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