- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - A federal judge released from prison a Flint man who acted as his own attorney at trial a decade ago when he was 18 and has maintained he was wrongfully convicted.

Omar Pouncy, 28, was released on a personal recognizance bond Monday pending a prosecutor’s appeal of his overturned carjacking and armed robbery convictions, WXYZ-TV reported (https://bit.ly/1pW7A0n ).

The carjackings were in 2005. Pouncy has said he acted as his own attorney because a Genesee County judge would not let him hire a lawyer.

The court-appointed “lawyer was unprepared,” he told the television station Monday after leaving U.S. District Court in Detroit with his grandmother and his current attorney.

“I was robbed because I didn’t have proper representation,” he said. “That’s why I got convicted. If I had had the right attorney at the time … when I was charged initially, I wouldn’t be here.”

A federal judge ruled Pouncy’s waiver of counsel was involuntary because he was forced to choose between an unprepared defense attorney and representing himself.

Pouncy said he would have been 105 years old if he lived to see the end of his prison sentence. He also said he began studying law while in prison.

Defense attorney David Moffitt began working three years ago with Pouncy on his case.

Pouncy’s bond comes with restrictions that include a curfew and electronic GPS tether. His travel is restricted and he must be employed by Moffitt.

The Genesee County prosecutor’s office told the television station that if their appeal is lost, they plan to retry Pouncy.

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Information from: WXYZ-TV, https://www.wxyz.com

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