Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada Robert Clive Jones, Chief District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. 3:07-cv-00467- RCJ-VPC
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ikuta, Circuit Judge:
June 12, 2012-San Francisco, California
Before: Dorothy W. Nelson, Johnnie B. Rawlinson, and Sandra S. Ikuta, Circuit Judges.
Kenneth Hibbler claims that he was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel because his counsel induced him to enter a guilty plea at a time when counsel should have known that Hibbler was incompetent.*fn1
The Nevada Supreme Court rejected this claim, finding that Hibbler's allegations were belied by the record. This appeal requires us to determine whether it was unreasonable for the state court to make this finding absent an evidentiary hearing. We hold that it was not.
In the early morning hours of July 24, 2003, Kenneth Hibbler's eight-year-old daughter awoke in her father's apartment to find that her wrist had been slit. She asked her father for help. He told her to go back to sleep and, feeling somewhat groggy, she did.
Hibbler's daughter awoke sometime later to a knock on the door. It was Clark County Constable Coleman, there to evict Hibbler from his apartment. Hibbler went to the door and looked through the peephole. Rather than answering the door, he returned to his daughter, told her to be quiet, and cut her throat with a razor. He then took her to the bathroom, cut her throat again, and then carried her to the bedroom, where he attempted to cut her throat a third time, telling her it was for her own good. This time she fled.
At this point, Constable Coleman let himself into the apartment, where he encountered father and daughter both covered in blood. Coleman removed Hibbler's daughter from the apartment and secured medical care for her. In the meantime, Hibbler barricaded himself in the bathroom. By the time Hibbler was eventually removed from the bathroom, he had slit his own throat. Both Hibbler and his daughter survived the incident, but their injuries required extensive surgery and Hibbler's daughter was left with disfiguring scars on her neck.
Authorities arrested Hibbler and charged him with first degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon, attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon, and battery with use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm. The state appointed public defenders Jeffrey Rue and Amy Coffee to represent Hibbler.
Early in the proceedings, Rue requested a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether Hibbler was competent to stand trial and assist in his defense. Dr. Dodge Slagle, DO, per- formed the competency evaluation on August 18, 2003. Hibbler reported that he understood that he was facing serious charges. He was able to accurately explain the role of the judge, prosecutor, and defense ...