An Orlando-area man faces prison for attacking his roommate with a butter knife because he mistook the man for Jesus, and now the accused man has asked a judge to furnish him with a defense attorney who—like him—doesn't believe in God.
But as an Orlando Sentinel staffer dutifully reported from the courthouse, Potthoff gets no special consideration from the state:
But Potthoff is also penniless. So the judge told him he better pony up if he wanted his own atheist attorney. Otherwise, he gets a public defender.
"It's just my human rights and everything else," Potthoff, 51, said against the advice of a public defender. "I'm allowed to be with someone of my own kind."
Potthoff's roommate, Raymond Hernandez, said he was watching television in the living room of their home on North Hiawassee Road when Potthoff threw a glass. It missed and shattered against a wall. Then came the butter-knife attack, Hernandez told deputies.
Potthoff denied tossing the glass.
The judge told Potthoff — after the suspect also rejected the idea of an agnostic attorney — that the request would likely be impossible to fill unless the indigent man paid for his own attorney.
"It's a sacrilegious thing," he told the judge before he went back to jail.
The obvious question is: How does a guy who doesn't believe in God believe that his roommate is Jesus in real life? But this is what happens in a society where everybody's arming themselves. When you have a butter knife, everything looks like a humanity-saving toast messiah.
[Photo credit: Orange County Jail]