Marcus Wesson was scheduled to go to court for his arraignment Wednesday, but instead had his arraignment delayed a day. Wesson, accused of shooting nine of his children last week, appeared in court without a lawyer and said "I don't want a public defender, I beg thee."
He was ordered to return Thursday with an attorney, or accept representation by the state.
Wesson, 57, has been charged with nine counts of murder and could face the death penalty if convicted. The victims include children ages 1 to 17, as well as his 25-year-old daughter, who was the mother of one of the infants killed.
Two of Wesson's sons attended Wednesday's hearing. One spoke out, saying four times: "I love you, dad." He then was led from the courtroom, and could be heard crying outside.
Police haven't said exactly when the victims died or what kind of gun was used, and the coroner's office was still preparing its report that could answer those questions.