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Marshall v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 13, 2016

JEREMIAH ANTHONY MARSHALL, a/k/a JEREMIAH ANTHONY MAHONEY, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable W. Thomas Sullins, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; Patricia Lynn Bennett, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Micah Christensen, Student Intern.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.

          BURKE, Chief Justice.

         [¶1] Appellant, Jeremiah Anthony Marshall, challenges his convictions of felony possession of methamphetamine, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-7-1031(c)(ii), and misdemeanor interference with a peace officer, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-5-204(a). He contends the district court erred by refusing to stay proceedings for purposes of a second competency evaluation. We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Mr. Marshall presents a single issue:

Did the district court err when it failed to suspend proceedings and order a competency evaluation?

         FACTS

         [¶3] In November 2014, Mr. Marshall was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for driving with its high-beam headlights on. During the stop, the officer learned from the driver of the vehicle that Mr. Marshall had given the officer a false name. The officer conducted a pat-down search of Mr. Marshall and detected an object in his left pant leg pocket. When the officer inquired about the object, Mr. Marshall ran from the officer. After a foot chase, he was apprehended and arrested. Officers searched the path of the foot chase and found a case containing two glass pipes and a plastic bag with methamphetamine inside.

         [¶4] Mr. Marshall was charged with one count of felony possession of methamphetamine, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-7-1031(c)(ii), one count of interference with a peace officer, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-5-204(a), and one count of forgery, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-602(a). The forgery charge was subsequently dismissed. After he was charged, Mr. Marshall's appointed counsel filed a motion to suspend proceedings pending a competency evaluation. At the hearing on that motion, Mr. Marshall's counsel noted that Mr. Marshall had a self-reported traumatic brain injury and had trouble recognizing that he had previously spoken with counsel. The court determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that Mr. Marshall had a mental illness or deficiency making him unfit to proceed and ordered an inpatient competency evaluation to be conducted at the Wyoming State Hospital.

         [¶5] Mr. Marshall was evaluated for approximately six weeks at the hospital by Dr. David Carrington, a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. Dr. Carrington provided a written report in which he concluded that Mr. Marshall "possesses a rational as well as a factual understanding of his legal charges and of basic legal procedure in general." The report states:

It is my opinion that though [Mr. Marshall] expresses some seemingly paranoid behaviors and makes paranoid statements [they] are due to personality factors including the sense of entitlement and manipulation more than they are related to the presence of a major mental illness. It is my opinion that [Mr. Marshall] is currently able to cooperate with his attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and participate appropriately and effectively in his defense if he chooses to do so. Thus, it is my opinion with a reasonable degree of medical and psychiatric certainty that [Mr. Marshall] is presently fit to proceed on his current charges.

         [¶6] After receiving the report, the court convened a competency hearing. At that hearing, Mr. Marshall noted that he did not agree with certain aspects of the evaluation. As a result, the court ordered a contested hearing in accordance with Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-11-303(f) (LexisNexis 2013).

         [¶7] At the contested hearing, Dr. Carrington testified regarding the findings in his report. Neither party objected to the report or expressed any disagreement with respect to the finding that Mr. Marshall was fit to proceed. Accordingly, the ...


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