Over the protest of his attorneys, Daniel Allen Tuffree on Thursday pleaded not guilty to killing a Simi Valley police officer and asked a judge to start his death penalty trial as soon as possible.
Lawyers for the former Van Nuys teacher had planned to ask Judge Allan L. Steele for more time to prepare a defense and to delay the start of the trial. But at Tuffree's insistence, Steele set Dec. 18 for the start of the trial.
"Mr. Tuffree is exercising poor judgment. He is still reeling from the shock," said defense attorney Richard Holly. "He can't believe that he's defending himself in his own home and now the D.A. wants to kill him."