The state was set to present the first witnesses in the trial against 57-year-old Randall Hofland of Searsport Monday morning, Jan. 10, but the case that has made headlines for more than two years hit another snag before the jury entered the courtroom.

Hofland claimed he was denied access to materials while at Somerset County Jail, and said his files had not been delivered to Waldo County Superior Courthouse as he had requested. After hearing Hofland’s concerns, Justice Jeffrey Hjelm ordered staff at Somerset County Jail to immediately deliver two boxes containing Hofland’s notes, exhibits and other materials to Waldo County Superior Courthouse.

Hofland told Hjelm he has been routinely denied access to the materials he needs in order to defend himself at trial, as he is serving as his own lead attorney with limited guidance from his court-appointed attorney Jeffrey Toothaker.

“The bottom line is, there is stuff that I need here in Waldo County that I don’t have here today,” Hofland told the justice.

Hofland added he was not given court materials at the jail until late Saturday night, a delay Hofland said cost him “12 or more hours” of the time he said he needed to prepare for the state’s presentation of evidence. Hofland said he also has materials that he left at Waldo County Jail, which are also crucial to his case.

Hjelm asked District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau who he planned to call for witnesses throughout the day, and Rushlau named several former or current members of Searsport Police Department, including Chief Dick LaHaye, former officer Jessica Danielson and former Sgt. Steve Saucier.

Hjelm asked Hofland if the materials in question pertained specifically to the proceedings scheduled for Monday morning, and Hofland said they did.

After some additional discussion, the justice asked Hofland if he was requesting the court take some action on his behalf.

“What are you proposing I do at this time so that we can get the trial started?” asked Hjelm.

Hofland stated he wanted the court to order the immediate delivery of his materials from Somerset County Jail, and that the boxes remain locked until they arrive at the courthouse.

“I am being denied the opportunity to represent myself,” Hofland said.

Rushlau said he feels Hofland had plenty of time to prepare for trial during the last two years.

“I’m speechless, Your Honor,” said Rushlau. “I think over the last two years he’s had the chance to organize his material.”

Hjelm countered that didn’t address Hofland’s specific concern that he did not have the materials he needs to go ahead with his trial.

“I’m satisfied that he needs to have at least some of the stuff in those two boxes,” said Hjelm, calling for the court to go into recess at 9:40 a.m. while arrangements were made for the delivery of Hofland’s files. Court would remain in recess, Hjelm said, until those files arrived at the courthouse.

Before the court went into recess, Hofland also expressed concern about being housed at Somerset County Jail for the length of his trial, noting the hour-long, one-way daily commute. Hjelm stated he would consider that issue, as well as a few others Hofland brought up, as soon as the court reconvenes later in the day.

Hofland, who was dressed in blue jeans, a button-up shirt and dark blue suit coat, also requested the court allow him to address the jury as he wished to counter some of what Rushlau presented as part of the prosecution’s opening statement, more specifically, Rushlau’s characterization of the crimes Hofland is accused of as “violent.” Last Friday, Hofland opted to reserve his right to offer his opening argument until after the prosecution rested its case.

Hjelm denied Hofland’s request, noting that granting such a motion would allow Hofland to break his opening statement in half.

Additionally, Hofland requested Hjelm ask jurors if news of the Saturday, Jan. 8, shooting at an event in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, would affect their ability to act impartially.

Hjelm said he would ask jurors about that incident, and if it would affect their ability to act impartially, when court is back in session.