A judge has urged a convicted killer whose death sentence was overturned last month to drop a bid to represent himself in a new penalty phase.
Hartford Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander informed 32-year-old Eduardo Santiago on Tuesday that his case is complex and he would be better served by a lawyer.
Alexander also formally vacated Santiago's death sentence that was overturned by the state Supreme Court, which ruled the trial judge wrongly withheld evidence from the jury.
Santiago and two other men were convicted in the fatal shooting of Joseph Niwinski in West Hartford in 2000. Police said Santiago was promised a broken snowmobile in exchange for the killing.
The public defender's office says it expects Santiago to withdraw his recent motion to represent himself.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.