final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Walton County. Kelvin C.
Thomas, Public Defender, and David Alan Henson, Assistant
Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Anne C. Conley, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Farrell Davis Jr. was charged with and convicted of several
offenses arising out an altercation with his neighbors over
his missing dogs. He raises five issues in this appeal from
his judgment and sentences, three of which have merit and are
discussed below. We reject his other arguments without
outset, we address Davis' claim that the trial court
committed fundamental error by failing to conduct an adequate
competency hearing before ruling on whether his competency to
stand trial had been restored. Davis was arrested in the
summer of 2014 in connection with this case. After appointing
an expert for a competency evaluation, the trial court
determined that Davis was incompetent to proceed.
two years later, on February 27, 2017, a Florida State
Hospital psychologist concluded that Davis no longer met the
criteria for involuntary commitment. After reviewing the
psychologist's report, the court entered an order on
March 28, 2017, declaring that Davis had regained his
competency.[*] But about a month later, the court issued
a separate order appointing a different psychologist to
evaluate Davis' competency. That expert issued her report
a few weeks later and recommended that Davis be found
competent to proceed. On June 6, 2017, the court conducted a
brief status hearing. The transcript of that hearing reads as
Court: James Davis.
Defense: Your Honor, Mr. Davis' report came back as well
and I would like to set him for August as well.
State: We would ask for July, Judge.
Court: Yeah, he's been around a long time. June 22
record contains a case disposition report dated June 6 and
signed by the deputy clerk with a handwritten note that Davis
was "competent to proceed." Davis proceeded to
trial and was ultimately convicted and sentenced for
attempted first-degree premeditated murder; burglary of a
dwelling while armed with a firearm; shooting at, into, or
within a building; and aggravated assault by threat with a
found incompetent, a presumption clings to the criminal
defendant that the state of incompetence persists until a
court, after proper notice and a hearing, finds
otherwise." Molina v. State, 946 So.2d 1103,
1105 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006). A proper hearing to determine
whether competency has been restored generally requires
"the calling of court-appointed expert witnesses
designated under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.211, a
determination of competence to proceed, and the entry of an
order finding competence." Dougherty v. State,
149 So.3d 672, 677 (Fla. 2014) (quoting Jones v.
State, 125 So.3d 982, 983-84 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013)). While
the parties and the court can agree to decide the issue of
competency based on the experts' reports without
receiving testimony, the court must regard the reports as
advisory only. Id. at 678. The court cannot dispense
with its duty to make an ...