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United States v. Carr

July 7, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES ALAN CARR, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Bruce Guyton United States Magistrate Judge

VARLAN/GUYTON

ORDER OF COMMITMENT FOR MENTAL EXAMINATION AND EVALUATION

All pretrial motions in this case have been referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) for disposition or report and recommendation regarding disposition by the District Court as may be appropriate. On July 5, 2006, the parties appeared before the Court for a scheduled motion hearing on Defendant Carr's motion to determine mental competency [Doc. 13] and Notice of Insanity Defense [Doc. 12], both filed on June 26, 2006, and the government's Motion For Psychiatric Or Psychological Evaluation [Doc. 15], filed on June 27, 2006. Assistant United States Attorney Tracee Plowell appeared on behalf of Tracy Stone for the government. Attorney Elizabeth Ford appeared on behalf of the defendant, who was also present.

In Defendant's motion [Doc. 13], Attorney Ford moves, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241 (a), for an order for psychiatric and psychological evaluation on the basis that there is reasonable cause to believe Defendant Carr may presently be suffering from a mental disease or defect that renders him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense. At the July 5 hearing, Attorney Ford also stated that she was moving for a mental evaluation of Defendant based on her conversations with Defendant, her conversations with Defendant's family, and her review of the discovery in this case.

The government, likewise, moves [Doc. 15] the Court for entry of an order directing that a psychiatric or psychological examination of the Defendant be conducted, and that the resulting report be filed with the Court in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 4247(b) and (c).

After carefully considering Defendant's motion to determine mental competency [Doc. 13] and Notice of Insanity Defense [Doc. 12], and the government's Motion For Psychiatric Or Psychological Evaluation [Doc. 15], as well as the representations made by defense counsel at the July 5 hearing, the Court finds there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant is "suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense." 18 U.S.C. § 4241(a). Accordingly, the Court finds that the defendant should undergo a full evaluation under 18 U.S.C. § 4241 (a) and (b). Thus, the motions [Docs. 13 and 15] are GRANTED.

With regard to the August 22, 2006 trial date, the Court finds that the present trial date must be continued and that a realistic trial date cannot be set at this time. The time during which the defendant is undergoing a mental examination is excludable under the Speedy Trial Act.

18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1)(A). Additionally, up to ten days of transportation time is excludable under the Act. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1)(H). Once the defendant returns from his examination, the Court will need to hold a competency hearing, the time for which will also be excludable. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1)(F). If the defendant is found competent, the parties will need time to prepare for trial.

See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)(B)(iv). Accordingly, the Court finds that the ends of justice served by the continuance for an evaluation outweigh the best interest of the defendant and the public in a speedy trial. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)(A). A new trial date will not be set at this time. A status conference and/or competency hearing is set for September 27, 2006 at 9:30 a.m.

It is therefore ORDERED:

1. That defendant is hereby committed to the custody of the Attorney General of the United States or his designated representative for the purposes indicated herein and the United States Marshal is hereby directed to transport the defendant to the nearest suitable psychiatric facility (hospital) for purposes of psychiatric evaluation, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 4241 and 4242. Said commitment shall be for a reasonable period not to exceed forty-five (45) days (to commence when defendant arrives at the facility), unless otherwise ordered.

2. That the receiving facility and doctor in whose primary care the defendant is placed shall file a written report with this Court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4247(c) as soon as practical with copies to counsel for the government and the defendant, said report to include:

a. the defendant's history and present symptoms;

b. a description of the psychiatric, psychological, and medical tests that were ...


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