final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
Martin County; Steven J. Levin, Judge; L.T. Case No.
P. Ryan, Director, and Paul O'Neil, Assistant Regional
Counsel of Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional
Counsel, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Kimberly T.
Acuna, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
defendant appeals his conviction and sentence for resisting
without violence, burglary of a dwelling, and third degree
grand theft. He argues the trial court erred in three ways:
(1) failing to rule on his competency; (2) denying his motion
for judgment of acquittal; and (3) instructing the jury on
recently stolen property. We find merit in his argument that
the trial court erred in failing to rule on a pending
competency issue, but no merit in the remaining issues. We
reverse and remand.
State charged the defendant with grand theft auto, burglary
of a dwelling, and resisting an officer without violence.
While the charges were pending, the defendant moved for a
competency examination. Defense counsel argued the defendant
had a documented intellectual disability, was unable to
describe the role of a judge or jury, was unable to provide
pertinent facts, and did not appreciate the nature of the
possible penalties. The court granted the motion.
the order, the court named an evaluator and requested a
report be submitted to the court. At a later status hearing,
the court minutes note that the competency issue was
addressed, but the record fails to reflect that the
competency evaluation had been conducted or a report
judge presided at the following status hearing, and a new
prosecutor appeared for the State. The same defense counsel,
who filed the motion for competency evaluation, represented
the defendant throughout trial and sentencing.
record fails to reflect that either judge ruled on the
defendant was convicted. The trial court sentenced the
defendant to twenty years in prison. From his conviction and
sentence, the defendant appeals.
defendant argues the trial court erred in failing to
determine his competency after having reasonable grounds to
do so. While the trial court ordered an evaluation, no report
was ever filed and no hearing was conducted. The State
responds that the trial court granted the defendant's
request for a competency evaluation. It suggests that the
hearing may have taken place, but concedes we should remand
for a retroactive determination of competency, if possible.
de novo review. Presley v. State, 199 So.3d 1014,
1017 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).
a trial court has reasonable grounds to believe that a
criminal defendant is not competent to proceed, it has no
choice but to conduct a competency hearing." Monte
v. State, 51 So.3d 1196, 1202 ...