Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley granted a continuation Monday for the jury trial of an Indianapolis man charged with several felonies.
Robert Jay Flatt, 42, was in court Monday for a change of plea hearing, but informed Headley he did not want to enter a guilty plea to the charges against him. Flatt's court-appointed attorney, James Recker, said he had been unaware that his client didn't want to plead and needed more time to prepare for trial.
Flatt told the court on Jan. 8 that he wanted to enter guilty pleas, but evidently changed his mind.
Flatt has been in and out of court since his arrest in May, when he entered a not guilty plea to all charges. He originally said he wanted to hire his own counsel, which never came to pass.
Headley granted the continuance to March 18 with a stern warning to Flatt.
"I'm not your dance partner," he said. "First you were going to hire your own counsel, then you weren't. Then you were going to plead guilty, now you aren't."
Flatt told Headley he understood. Flatt asked that Headley release Flatt on his own recognizance, but Headley modified Flatt's bond from $30,000 cash only to $30,000 with 10 percent allowed. Headley pointed out that doing so was a favor to Flatt.
"With out-of-town defendants, cash is standard for a bond," he said. "I'm authorizing 10 percent for you."
Flatt is charged with Class B felony burglary, Class C felony burglary and two counts of Class D felony theft in connection with a series of incidents that began over a year ago. He came to the Putnam County Jail after spending time in the Hendricks County Jail on theft charges.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Flatt was allegedly involved in the theft of one Harley Davidson motorcycle on Oct. 28, 2007 and the theft of two Harley Davison motorcycles on Nov. 14, 2007. Both thefts occurred at private residences. Jewelry was also reported missing after the Nov. 14 incident.
On March 3, Indiana State Police Detective Michael Biggs received a phone call from Indiana State Police Trooper Charles Boller informing him that Flatt had telephoned his brother James and threatened to shoot James.
Court documents said Flatt used his brother's truck to commit the alleged crimes. Officers took photographs of James Flatt's truck and showed them to an eyewitness, who identified the truck as the one used in the Nov. 14, 2007 burglary.
One of the stolen motorcycles was recovered in Indianapolis on Dec. 10, 2007. The other two were stripped and sold for parts, court documents said.
Flatt has an extensive criminal history that includes arrests for child endangerment, operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, battery, burglary and theft.
If convicted on all charges connected with the motorcycle thefts, he could face up to 34 years in prison.