20-year-old Orlando Melendez reportedly works as a clown, but he was far from smiling when he was arrested for attempted robbery of a Convenience Store in December last year. Last week in court, he tried to use his profession in his defense, saying that he had been clowning around when he held up the Forest Park convenience store with a toy gun. He even offered to juggle for the jury to prove it.

‘Clown’ arrested for attempted robbery

As reported by Mass Live, Melendez was arrested in December last year and charged with two counts of attempting to commit a crime, after trying to rob clerks at a convenience store at the point of a toy gun.

The suspect was held on $5,000 bail. Melendez reportedly fired his court-appointed attorney back in February this year and went on to represent himself. Some say a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a lawyer; in this case, the defendant was represented by a clown.

It was during Thursday’s pretrial hearing that Melendez requested to show his juggling skills to the jurors, to prove the fact he is a clown. That bit of clowning around didn’t go too far, however, when his hand-written court papers – written in the third person – said the “keystone to his defense” was his profession.

Clowning around while attempting to rob a convenience store

According to the defendant, he was literally clowning around when he headed into the convenience store at 3:15 a.m.

and demanded money from the cash register. What he wanted to do to prove his innocence in court was to give a juggling demonstration in front of jurors for 20 seconds, to show he was really a clown and to prove the alleged attempted robbery was merely a misunderstanding.

The court papers went on to say the juggling act would be the simplest and only possible proof that the defendant is a clown, adding that denying the request would also deny the defendant’s rights to a fair trial.

As noted by NPR, Judge Robert Murphy, on hearing the defendant wished to give a juggling display to prove his innocence, said one single word: “Denied.”

When Melendez did still have a court-appointed lawyer, John Greenwood had told the court that the profanities the defendant said to the convenience store’s clerks were possibly a rebuke, because they had pointed out he was drunk.

Greenwood added that Melendez had been partying and had drunk a lot of alcohol. The defendant, in his own defense, is using the clown version instead.

After the denial of the juggling motion, jury selection is set to begin June 8.