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The People v. Ricky Dwayne Benson

May 10, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
RICKY DWAYNE BENSON, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 95F04551)

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

P. v. Benson

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Ricky Dwayne Benson appeals the trial court's order granting a petition to extend his not guilty by reason of insanity commitment to December 22, 2010. (Pen. Code, § 1026.5.)*fn1 He contends insufficient evidence supports the required finding that he lacks the volitional capacity to control his dangerous behavior. We shall affirm the trial court's order.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Defendant has a lengthy criminal and mental health history. At seven years of age, defendant was arrested for "fire-setting." At 13 years of age, defendant was "shooting at people in cars with a BB gun." At 17 years of age, defendant physically assaulted a counselor while in custody at the California Youth Authority, was tried as an adult, was convicted, and was sentenced to state prison. Released on parole at 21 years of age, defendant absconded. In 1988, defendant shackled a robbery victim to a chair and tortured the victim for two hours, stabbing the victim numerous times and beating the victim with brass knuckles. Defendant was sentenced to state prison for three years. Released on parole, defendant was convicted of felony evading. While in prison, defendant physically assaulted other inmates, resulting in numerous rule violations. In 1993, defendant was convicted of violating section 273.5 and sentenced to state prison for two years. Released on parole, defendant violated parole in 1994.

From May 21, 1995, to May 24, 1995, defendant hit his wife several times, threatened her with a gun, and kept her in the residence by force. A complaint filed May 26, 1995, charged defendant with spousal abuse, felon in possession of a firearm, false imprisonment, and criminal threats, and alleged that defendant personally used a firearm and had served four prior prison terms. Defense counsel declared a doubt as to defendant's mental competence and criminal proceedings were suspended. Based on doctors' reports, the court found that defendant was not competent to stand trial. Based on a report from the conditional release program (CONREP), the court committed defendant to Atascadero State Hospital (ASH) in August 1995.

On October 11, 1995, ASH's medical director certified that defendant was competent. Criminal proceedings were reinstated. Defendant entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

On July 9, 1996, after defendant waived his right to a jury trial, the court found defendant guilty of assault with a firearm, a lesser related offense to the spousal abuse charge with personal use of a firearm, and dismissed the remaining counts on the People's motion. Based on doctors' reports, the court found defendant not guilty by reason of insanity.

On August 2, 1996, the court committed defendant to ASH with a maximum term of confinement of seven years with credit for a maximum commitment date of May 20, 2002. On February 26, 1997, defendant was transferred from ASH to Patton State Hospital (Patton).

In December 1997, defendant was convicted of criminal threats to a staff member at Patton. Defendant threatened a female staff member. Defendant was sentenced to state prison for one year four months and was ordered to return to Patton upon completion of the state prison sentence.

In December 2004, defendant was transferred back to ASH for abusive behavior directed towards one of the ...


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