final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
St. Lucie County; Steven J. Levin, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and J. Woodson Isom, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Don M. Rogers,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
defendant appeals his conviction and sentence for making a
false report of a bomb. He argues that his trial counsel was
ineffective in failing to move to suppress his 211
call as protected by the
psychotherapist-patient privilege; and the trial court erred
in (1) denying his motion for judgment of acquittal; (2)
proceeding to trial without determining his competency; and
(3) imposing a $2, 351 public defender lien. We find merit in
his arguments concerning the competency issue and in the
imposition of the public defender lien. We therefore reverse
and remand the case.
defendant has a history of mental illness, a brain injury,
and a low IQ. He called 211, stating that he "made a
bomb" and "blew up" himself. He told the 211
operator that he drank vodka and wanted to die.
officers arrived, they found him heavily intoxicated and
belligerent. He told the officers he did not have a bomb, but
was "goofing off" because he had an argument with
his girlfriend. The officers searched the residence, but did
not find a bomb. They arrested the defendant for false
reporting of a bomb.
to trial, defense counsel twice moved to have the defendant
evaluated for competency. Within these motions, the defendant
waived his right to the required hearing. The trial court
entered orders directing examination of the defendant and
appointing doctors. The trial court noted the defendant's
waiver of the hearing and stated that defense counsel could
schedule a competency hearing should it become necessary.
doctor conducted the evaluation. After the defendant rejected
a plea offer, the court asked whether all issues had been
resolved in the case. Defense counsel replied: "Yes,
Your Honor. I had him evaluated and he's competent to
trial, the attorneys had difficulty communicating with the
defendant and getting him to directly answer questions. At
the charge conference, the following dialogue took place:
THE COURT: Has there been a mental health evaluation,
competency evaluation regarding this case?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: There was, Your Honor. He was found