Lynx bus stop stabbing suspect tells judge he doesn't want public defender

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -  A suspect accused of stabbing a man during a robbery at a Lynx bus stop on Orange Avenue Wednesday morning appeared in court on Thursday.

Investigators said Thomas Thorpe stabbed Donald Sacco several times at the bus stop near Sixth Street in the Taft area.

In court, Thorpe appeared to not want an attorney to represent him against the murder charges he's facing.

"Do you want a public defender appointed?" the judge asked.

"Uh, no," said Thorpe. "I've had a lousy experience with that."

Thorpe added that he believes attorneys screw people.

The judge, however, raised the issue of mental health and insisted on appointing Thorpe an attorney, which led to an awkward exchange with Thorpe.

"Thomas George Thorpe stated his case. Can I go now?" asked Thorpe.

"What?" asked the judge.

"Can I go now?" said Thorpe.

"You what?" asked the judge.

"I said, 'Not guilty.' (I) plead not guilty and I don't want this negro standing next to me, OK. I don't want a negro standing next to me," Thorpe responded.

Thorpe is being held on no bond in the Orange County Jail.

Channel 9 obtained cellphone video that witness Si Macon recorded, which showed another man, Jeffery Hopkins, jump from a car and hold the alleged attacker at gunpoint until deputies could arrive. He said the victim sat bleeding on the bus stop bench.

Hopkins spoke to WFTV and said he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“As I was getting out, I noticed the guy had a knife in his hand so I went for my gun and took him down,” Hopkins said. “He looked at me very scared, then realized I was serious, and dropped the knife and laid down immediately.”