Houle sentencing delayed after he complains about his lawyer

CANTON, New York (WWNY) – The Massena man who interrupted his own trial to plead guilty has now forced a delay in sentencing.

Twenty-three-year-old Blakely Houle’s sentencing on manslaughter and assault charges was delayed Monday after he complained about his defense attorney.

Houle told St. Lawrence County Court Judge Greg Story that he wanted to represent himself because his appointed lawyer was not representing him properly.

Story talked him out of representing himself and Houle agreed that a new lawyer will be appointed.

Houle told the court he would find new counsel himself in three weeks if he’s not satisfied with his newly appointed attorney.

In June Houle interrupted his trial to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault. The surprise plea came after the prosecution rested its case.

He admitted he recklessly caused the death of 30-year-old James Hayes of Massena by striking him with his minivan on Center Street in Massena on May 29, 2021.

Houle was indicted in July on counts of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and first- and second-degree assault.

Sentencing is now scheduled for September 13. He faces six to 12 years in prison.