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The People v. Kevin R. Williams

December 29, 2010

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
KEVIN R. WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(San Francisco County Super. Ct. No. 2401263)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kline, P.J.

P. v. Williams CA1/2

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

INTRODUCTION

Kevin R. Williams was convicted by a jury of possession for sale of cocaine base. Williams contends that his conviction must be reversed because the trial court failed to conduct a hearing on his competence to stand trial despite substantial evidence of his incompetence. We shall affirm.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

An information filed on February 4, 2009, charged Williams with one count of possession for sale of cocaine base. (Health & Saf. Code, § 11351.5.) The information alleged that Williams's four prior felony narcotics convictions--each of which carried a three-year enhancement--rendered him ineligible for probation. (See Pen. Code, § 1203.07*fn1 ; Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11370, subds. (a) & (c), 11370.2.) The trial court granted Williams's request to bifurcate the trial on his priors.

After several delays, Williams's criminal trial commenced on November 24, 2009. On December 7, 2009, a jury convicted Williams of violating Health and Safety Code section 11351.5. Williams subsequently waived a jury trial on his prior convictions. One of the four prior felony convictions alleged in the complaint was stricken by the district attorney, and the trial court found the three remaining priors to be true. On February 11, 2010, Williams was sentenced to a 10-year prison term, consisting of four years for the underlying charge and two consecutive three-year terms on two enhancements, with the court striking a third enhancement for purposes of sentencing. The trial court credited Williams with 804 days for time served.

Williams filed a timely notice of appeal on February 18, 2010.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

Because Williams's sole contention on appeal is unrelated to the facts of his underlying conviction, a detailed recital of those facts is unnecessary. At approximately 11:40 p.m. on January 6, 2009, two San Francisco police officers detained Williams for jaywalking. An identification check revealed that he was a parolee. A parole search uncovered 49 individually wrapped rocks of crack cocaine within a black glove hidden beneath Williams's waistband. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of crack cocaine for sale. A subsequent search of his pants pockets turned up $464 in small denominations, but no smoking device.

DISCUSSION

Williams contends that the trial court abused its discretion when it twice denied his motion for a competency hearing pursuant to section 1368,*fn2 despite substantial evidence that he was incompetent to stand trial. (See § 1367.)*fn3

Williams's Pretrial Actions

Prior to Williams's January 22, 2009 preliminary hearing, he turned down the People's offer of a 16-month term and a reduced charge of simple possession, against the advice of trial counsel. Williams instead sought a complete dismissal of the charges.

Williams's trial was rescheduled three times as a result of his conduct. Twice on the eve of trial, Williams made unsuccessful Marsden motions*fn4 to replace his counsel. His first two attorneys made successful McKenzie motions*fn5 to withdraw as counsel. Williams subsequently refused to appear at his third scheduled trial date.

Williams's First Competency Challenge

On November 24, 2009, the fourth date set for trial, Williams again refused to appear in court. The trial court ordered Williams to undergo a physical (see § 4011.5) and psychiatric (see § 4011.6)*fn6 evaluation, and continued the cause pending results of the psychiatric evaluation. The section 4011.6 report was filed November 30, 2009, and provided, in pertinent part:

"[Williams] was seen for a psychiatric evaluation. . . . [¶] . . . [¶]

" . . . [Williams] does not appear to suffer from a major mental illness but has some mental health issues and is currently being seen by Jail ...


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