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The People v. Timothy Ladry Jasper

July 17, 2012


(Super. Ct. No. 95F07905)

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

P. v. Jasper CA3


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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Following a jury finding that defendant Timothy Ladry Jasper currently posed a substantial danger to others as a result of a mental disorder, the trial court extended defendant's mental health commitment for two years.

On appeal, defendant contends: (1) the testimony of the People's expert violated the confrontation clause and could not be used for the truth of the matter; (2) there was no evidence defendant had a qualifying mental disorder or was unable to control his dangerous behavior; (3) the court erred in allowing the jury to learn that its verdict would decide whether defendant would be released or continue to be confined; and (4) the court erred in supplementing (after closing arguments) the instructions it had previously given. Disagreeing with these contentions, we affirm.


Defendant was committed to Napa State Hospital some years after a 1995 burglary that resulted in a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity. At the time of trial, Dr. Domingo Laguitan had been a staff psychiatrist at Napa State Hospital for almost six years and had been defendant's treating psychiatrist for 14 months. In that capacity, the doctor had formal meetings with defendant once a month and observed him most days.

Dr. Laguitan was part of a multidisciplinary treatment team assigned to defendant, the goal of which was to provide for the needs of defendant so he could "move onto an open unit and hopefully to get out of the hospital." The treatment team, including Dr. Laguitan, was responsible for documenting in the hospital's medical records defendant's day-to-day progress, as well as anything significant. The record entries were made by the treatment team, including Dr. Laguitan, as a normal course of business and recorded contemporaneous acts and events. Accessing, reviewing, and creating these records were part of Dr. Laguitan's job responsibilities.

Dr. Laguitan diagnosed defendant with substance abuse disorder, substance-induced psychosis, and antisocial personality disorder. He based these diagnoses on defendant's history, which included, among other things, 30 years of drug abuse (that continued in Napa State Hospital, despite its serious measures to prevent drugs from entering the hospital), a history of auditory hallucinations that began in his early teens, a history of criminal behavior (that coincided with the onset of the hallucinations and drug use), and the following incidents:

In August 2008, after defendant had ingested narcotics, he appeared restless and was talking to himself. He refused to follow the staff's direction and gestured to the staff that there was somebody under his bed when in fact there was no one there.

In October 2008 (during a time period when defendant was refusing to undergo drug testing), defendant threatened to kill people who he believed were coming through the metal bars on his window trying to harm him.

In April 2009, during an incident "induced by substances," defendant told another patient while defendant was looking under that patient's mattress, "'I'm going to fuck you up.'" Defendant was then put in a locked room by himself, but he kept kicking at the door and threatening to hurt others.

In December 2009 (again during a time period defendant was refusing to undergo drug testing), there was an incident where defendant was in his room, disheveled with his eyes red, slow to respond, and looked at staff suspiciously.

Finally, there was an incident in July 2010 when defendant approached a staff member with his voice hoarse and eyes red while clenching his fists and angrily stating, "'I'll kill one of those motherfuckers. I'm going to smash one -- what doing my room [sic]. I'll kill somebody tonight.'" When the staff asked what was going on, he accused the staff of playing dumb.

In conversations with Dr. Laguitan, defendant admitted to the auditory hallucinations, a substance abuse problem that has affected his life, and the use of drugs at Napa State Hospital because he was ...

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