final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; Dina A. Keever-Agrama and Joseph Marx,
Judges; L.T. Case No. 50-2010-CF-012102-AXXX-MB.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Mara C. Herbert, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Luke R.
Napodano, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
defendant below challenges the trial court's
determination that he was competent to stand trial for
charges relating to a bank robbery committed in 2010. He
argues the trial court erroneously relied on stale competency
evaluations. Because the defendant failed to preserve this
argument, we affirm.
trial court determined the defendant was incompetent to
proceed in 2013, but his competency was restored in April
2014. Defense counsel moved to again determine competency in
October 2014, alleging that recent events had caused the
defendant to decompensate.
court appointed two experts, Dr. Douglas Schooler and Dr.
Barbara Ann Barone, to examine the defendant. Each of the
court-appointed experts evaluated the defendant on October
27, 2014 and each determined he was competent to proceed. The
defendant hired two of his own experts to conduct competency
evaluations, which evaluations took place on December 19,
2014 and March 13, 2015, respectively.
defense expert concluded he was incompetent.
required competency hearing was originally set for November
14, 2014, but was postponed numerous times, at least one time
at the defendant's behest. When the hearing finally took
place on July 21, 2015, both court-appointed experts
testified to their opinion that the defendant was competent.
Dr. Barone additionally opined that some of the
defendant's impairments were feigned. The defendant
called his experts to testify and they generally opined that
he was incompetent due to his inability to recall and discuss
all of the events surrounding the crime, which inability was
related to a brain injury.
trial court "broke the 2-2 tie" and, using the
evidence presented to it, found the defendant competent to
proceed. In the order finding the defendant competent, the
trial court directly addressed the issue of the
defendant's credibility and adopted the position of the
court-appointed expert that the defendant was feigning his
memory deficits. The defendant proceeded to trial and was
appeal, the defendant challenges the court's second
competency determination, contending that the nine-month-old
competency evaluations on which the trial court relied were
stale. Therefore, he contends, there was not competent,
substantial evidence to support the court's competency
agree with the defendant insofar as he argues that the
nine-month-old competency evaluations conducted by the
court-appointed experts were stale, but for that matter, so
were the four- and seven-month-old evaluations presented to
the court by the defense. See Washington v. State,
162 So.3d 284, 289 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) (holding competency
evaluations that were six months to one year old were stale
and did not constitute competent, substantial evidence of
competency); In re Commitment of Reilly, 970 So.2d
453, 456 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) (holding six-month-old evaluation
"was too stale to be relevant" and "did not
provide competent, substantial evidence to support the trial
court's finding"); Brockman v. State, 852
So.2d 330, 333-34 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003) (noting that four- and
eleven-month-old expert reports "were simply too old to
be relevant to a determination of Brockman's competency
to stand trial" because they "did not speak to
Brockman's competence" at the time of trial).
nevertheless conclude that there is no reversible error here.
Where sufficiency of the evidence is challenged, the general
rule requiring a contemporaneous objection to preserve an
issue for appellate review applies. F.B. v. State,
852 So.2d 226, 229-30 (Fla. 2003). "Any technical
deficiency in proof may be readily addressed by timely
objection or motion, thus allowing ...