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United States of America v. Re: Competency Randy K. Barker

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 11, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
RE: COMPETENCY RANDY K. BARKER,
DEFENDANT.

ORDER

On September 10, 2012, the parties appeared before the court to confirm this case for trial. Defendant Randy K. Barker had previously sent two letters to his lawyer which he later sent to both the U.S. Attorney and the Clerk of this Court. (Dkt. 22, 27). Based on those letters, the representations of defendant's attorney at previous hearings, the perceived demeanor of the defendant while in court, and the stipulation that the defendant participate in a program of medical or psychiatric treatment as a condition of his pretrial release (Dkt. 28), the court has reasonable cause to believe that the defendant may be presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to (1) understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or (2) to assist properly in his defense.

The court has inquired of the parties sua sponte whether there is cause to doubt the defendant's competence to proceed to trial, and the government has now orally moved for a competency hearing pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241. The defendant objected, arguing that it is premature at this time to have the defendant evaluated, and requested the matter be continued for a week. Having found reasonable cause to believe that the defendant may be presently 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 the defense, the court finds that any further delay in conducting an examination under 18 U.S.C. §§ 4241(b) and 4247(c) would neither be in the best interests of the government, the court, the public nor the defendant.

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that 1. The government's oral motion for competency hearing is GRANTED. The court appoints a staff physician from the Division of Psychiatry and the Law at University of California, Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California. That examination shall take place in accordance with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §§ 4241(b) and 4247(c).

2. The trial scheduled to commence on September 18, 2012, is vacated.

3. This matter is set for status of competency hearing on September 17, 2012, at 9:30 a.m., at which time the court will set the time and date of the competency hearing.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120911

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