FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Desoto County; James S. Parker,
L. Dimmig, II, Public Defender, and Matthew J. Salvia,
Assistant Public Defender, Bartow, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Donna S. Koch,
Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
Mansfield seeks review of the order revoking his drug
offender probation based on a new law violation of sale of a
controlled substance. We reverse based on the trial
court's failure to conduct an adequate preliminary
Nelson inquiry and a competency hearing. While a
reversal on these issues renders Mansfield's vindictive
sentence issue moot, the trial court's treatment of
Mansfield based on their prior acquaintance is troubling. We
therefore direct that the proceedings on remand be conducted
by a different judge.
Preliminary Nelson Inquiry
he was incarcerated pending the revocation hearing, Mansfield
filed a pro se "Request/Grievance/Appeal Form" in
which he stated:
Judge James S. Parker Let you know on the 7-8-15 Frank Ribel
don't work on my case he is frie [sic]. No show Ribel for
9 months I saw Ribel about 4 time pluse [sic] I have not gone
to court on my V.O.P I like to know what gonsing [sic] on
about it thank you.
Defense counsel construed this as a request to discharge
counsel and filed a "Notice of Nelson
Faretta Hearing" to have the request
considered. At the hearing, it immediately became clear that
the court was a long-time acquaintance of Mansfield. The
court began the proceedings by asking, "And, Henry,
what's this about you want to represent yourself?"
Mansfield replied, "Well, my Nelson, I've
been able to takeâ" before he was interrupted by the
The proceedings took a strange turn, and the following
THE COURT: Now I've known you all your life.
THE DEFENDANT: Yeah. I know it. I made-
THE COURT: You never did graduate from DeSoto High School,
did you? Did you finally graduate?
THE DEFENDANT: Nope.
THE COURT: That's what I thought.
THE DEFENDANT: I walked down the, you know, walk.
THE COURT: And I remember when you was charged with cattle
THE DEFENDANT: Now that been a long time ago.
THE COURT: - of Bill DeShawn's (phonetic) cattle out on-
or cow out on Highway 70, right?
THE DEFENDANT: Yeah. But you see defense-
THE COURT: Well, I just remember all those things, Henry.
THE DEFENDANT: If you find that-if you find that too, the
caboot (phonetic) didn't match my gun, if you remember
THE COURT: You got what?
THE DEFENDANT: When they took the ballistic test, it was not
THE COURT: Oh, okay.
THE DEFENDANT: But I got (indiscernible) at ...