The attorney for a Stockton man accused of multiple bank robberies in the county made a motion Monday morning to prevent media agencies from filming, broadcasting or photographing court proceedings.
The motion was made in response to the defendant’s request at a previous court hearing in which a television camera was present.
“Mr. (Phillip Dale) Selfa ... objects to being photographed wearing chains and/or jail clothes, as it shows him in a prejudicial light and jeopardizes his opportunity to receive a fair trial in San Joaquin County,” said public defender Georgia McElroy in a court document filed Monday.
Selfa, 58, who is charged with multiple counts of felony burglary and reporting a false bomb, was not present in Stockton Superior Court on Monday. The district attorney’s office was still receiving reports from area police and sheriff’s departments and the defense has not had time to build its case accordingly, McElroy wrote in the motion.
“The defense has not received even one page of discovery in this case,” she said.
Because police reports from several law enforcement agencies are still trickling in, the trial was delayed Monday morning.
Selfa is accused of robbing four separate banks in Lodi, Lockeford, Lindon and Ripon. He has three previous federal convictions in 1978, 1982 and 1989 for robbery. Selfa was listed as a career criminal by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1990. He was arrested in Stockton on May 18 by San Joaquin Sheriff’s deputies and SWAT officers.
Selfa is accused of multiple bank robberies in San Joaquin County between December 2010 and May 2011.
The most recent robbery took place the morning of May 9 at the Bank of the West on Church Street. Selfa allegedly gave a clerk a handwritten note demanding money shortly after 9 a.m. that morning, police said.
After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, Selfa allegedly left behind a bag in the bank he had told employees was filled with explosives. The package was determined not to contain a bomb by law enforcement officials.
McElroy challenged the News-Sentinel’s request for a still camera at Monday’s proceeding because the defense did not receive the request more than five days in advance. The request was not delivered promptly to the defense by the court clerk, McElroy said.
Selfa is not challenging the media’s ability to be present at the trial, McElroy said, just having cameras and broadcasting equipment available.
KXTV 10 had a video camera at Selfa’s last hearing on May 20. The defense did not receive a notice of a request prior to that hearing, McElroy said.
“This resulted in numerous, some erroneous and/or inflammatory, articles about this case,” the court document read.
No specific examples of errors or inflammatory articles were listed in the court document.
Selfa is ordered appear in court June 13 at 2 p.m. He is being held on a $950,000 bond.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.