A man who is accused of scattering body parts in an Arizona forest has decided on Monday, April 11, to fire his lawyer and defend himself in the case, rejecting a plea deal given by the prosecutors at the time of the trial.

The 60-year-old Walter Mitchell III, who has largely worked successfully in businesses where the body parts of dead or dying people were donated to scientific or academic research, is accused of dumping body parts from cadavers he owned in a forest area in Prescott, Arizona, according to AZ Central.

Mitchell has largely maintained his innocence on the matter, though he has not offered any alibis in regards to the body parts or the location of the cadavers that he bought and owned after the dissolution of his company FutureGenex in 2020, NBC affiliate King 5 reported.

On Monday, after rejecting a plea agreement from the prosecutors of his case, Mitchell fired his defense attorney and asked the Superior Court Judge Krista Carman if he could defend himself and if the case could go to trial.

“I am a subject matter expert in very few things, but I am a subject matter expert in my case,” he said. “After 16 months, I’ve decided [that] it’s time for a trial. I’ve wanted a trial from the very beginning. I’ve been very patient, and I think I can win.”

The judge granted him his request after reminding him of the risks that one has to face when representing themselves in a court of law.

Mitchell was previously arrested in the ‘90s after he stole $10,000 from a McDonald’s where he worked before fleeing to Mexico with the money. He was arrested after he became ill while attempting to secretly cross the border to America again.

He avoided jail time for those charges after the manager of the McDonald’s went forward to ask the judge to give Mitchell community service instead of prison, and after his mental health was shown to be needing counseling sessions.

Mitchell went on to have an illustrious career in the body donation business, with him reportedly helping found the first such business in Arizona, Science Care before expanding his business to multiple organizations between 2000 and 2020.

If convicted of his charges, Mitchell could spend a potential 22-year sentence for the dead body parts charge, and an additional 4 years for the charge related to a pipe bomb that was found in his home during the investigation.

Walter Mitchell III, who has had a ton of experience in regards to the body-donation industry in America, fired his lawyer on Monday and asked if he could defend himself in his upcoming body parts trial. This is a representational image. Lina White/Unsplash.

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