Defendant in Costa Mesa shooting asks for public defender

NEWPORT BEACH — Prosecutors were ready to begin court proceedings Friday when the man they accused of an execution-style killing opted to no longer represent himself.

Robert Allan Lehmann, 36, is accused of killing his ex-wife Emily Ford, 32, and her father, Russell Ford, 62, on May 3 when the two went to Lehmann's Costa Mesa home to pick up the daughter Lehmann and Ford shared.

Lehmann asked for a public defender to represent him in court and push back the legal proceedings temporarily, although he emphasized he did not want to waive his right to a speedy trial.

"We're not going to play that game 20 times with you where you want a lawyer then you don't want a lawyer," said Judge Michael Leversen, who was presiding over the case Friday at the Newport Beach Harbor Justice Center.

This will be his third, according to court records.

Earlier in proceedings, Lehmann requested a list of witnesses and evidence against him that was provided to prosecutors earlier in the week.

Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy said all evidence would be provided to the defense team, and Leversen reminded Lehmann that evidence would routinely be submitted in court up to the time when Lehmann was tried.

Lehmann requested that evidence he had not seen be inadmissible in court. The judge denied his motion.

Murphy had a Costa Mesa police detective and one of Lehmann's neighbors in court to testify, before proceedings were temporarily halted.

Lehmann faces two counts of murder with sentencing enhancement for lying in wait.

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