Try 1 month for 99¢

A man accused of beating a woman with a stick and robbing her outside the Benton County Courthouse has chosen to represent himself at trial, court records show.

Eric Leroy Patterson was set to stand trial on Monday for first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree disorderly conduct. The 37-year-old decided last month to dismiss his attorney and represent himself, according to court records. The trial has been postponed after Patterson made several requests, including dismissing the judge.

The trial has not been reset. A status hearing in the case is set for Jan. 2.

A judge had appointed Corvallis attorney Mike Flinn to represent Patterson. However, the defendant waived his right to counsel, and Flinn withdrew from the case. On Monday, Judge Locke Williams re-appointed Flinn to assist Patterson in representing himself, court records show.

On Friday, Patterson sent a letter to the court requesting that Williams be dismissed from the case on the grounds that he had not provided Patterson with hospital reports and witness statements in the case. That request was denied Monday.

A request for a mistrial also was denied.

Williams ruled that Patterson, who is being held in the Benton County Jail, should remain in custody until the case goes to trial.

Patterson previously was evaluated by a psychologist and deemed mentally fit to proceed to trial. Flinn had asked for Patterson to be evaluated, citing concerns over his ability to comprehend the court proceedings.

The alleged robbery and assault took place Sept. 26 outside the Benton County Courthouse, police have said. A witness told police she saw Patterson walking north on Northwest Fifth Street with a large wooden stick, according to police. The witness said Patterson hit the alleged victim, Tiffany Rice, five or six times with the stick, police said. The witness also told officers she saw Patterson tug at Rice’s purse and take it from her, according to police.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Lillian Schrock covers public safety for the Gazette-Times. She may be reached at 541-758-9548 or Follow her on Twitter at @LillieSchrock. 


Public Safety Reporter