Portales man requests self-representation at trial

PNT Staff Report

A man accused of breaking into a Portales home and beating an 82-year-old woman has asked to represent himself at trial.

Preston Blake, 25, faces more than 18 years in prison in connection with a 2008 residential burglary at the home of Jo Ann Vickers.

At the beginning of testimony on Wednesday, Blake asked District Judge Stephen Quinn if he could represent himself. Quinn ordered attorney Jennifer Burrill to assist in procedural matters.

On Thursday, Blake cross-examined prosecution witnesses and made occasional objections from the defense table. The trial is expected to reach closing arguments today at the Roosevelt County Courthouse.