Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka the Underwear Bomber, will go to trial on October 4. The federal judge presiding over his case today refused to set a later date. Judge Nancy Edmunds tried to talk the 24 year old out of representing himself — he fired his public defenders months ago — to no avail. He does have a standby counsel. As Abdulmutallab repeatedly affirmed that he wished to continue as his own lawyer, the judge reminded him that — even if he accepted representation — he could always come to her directly with any concerns or questions. "I understand you may worry about losing control over what happens to you," she said. "I can understand that is a frightening prospect and I am here to listen." Abdulmutallab faces life in prison if convicted. His stand-by counsel says it's a very defensible case. Apparently, the Public Defender's office has expert reports that the device in his underwear could not have blown up the airplane.
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