final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeals from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Miguel
M. de la O, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 16-9990
J. Martinez, Public Defender, and James Odell, Assistant
Public Defender, for appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and David Llanes, Assistant Attorney
General, for appellee.
LINDSEY, HENDON, and MILLER, JJ.
Alexander appeals from a judgment and sentence for strong-arm
robbery. We reverse and remand for a new trial.
Facts and Procedural History
2016, Mr. Alexander was charged by information with
strong-arm robbery. The arrest affidavit reflects that in May
2016, Mr. Alexander approached the victim, represented
himself as an ex-law enforcement officer and an ex-animal
control officer, and then proceeded to tell the victim that
he did not like the way the victim was walking his dog. Mr.
Alexander told the victim that he had a gun, took the
victim's dog away, forced the victim to pay a
"fine" of slightly over $100 at the scene, and
forced the victim to read something out loud while Mr.
Alexander was videotaping the victim. Mr. Alexander released
the victim's dog when the victim screamed to a nearby
person. Following the incident, Mr. Alexander posted the
video of the victim on social media. Mr. Alexander was
subsequently arrested and charged with the strong-arm
2016, the trial court entered orders appointing two
psychologists, Dr. Jethro Toomer and Dr. Rose Huber, to
perform competency evaluations of Mr. Alexander. Both
psychologists examined Mr. Alexander the following month and
issued their reports finding that Mr. Alexander was competent
to proceed to trial. The reports note that Mr. Alexander has
been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder but was not taking
medications for the disorder. Both Dr. Toomer and Dr. Huber
expressed concerns because Mr. Alexander was not taking
medications for his bipolar disorder. Dr. Toomer's report
provides: "Given that he is not following a regimen of
medication, monitoring is required with respect to any likely
decompensation that may be associated with his participation
in the legal proceedings." Dr. Huber's report
reflects: "Mr. Alexander has a serious mental illness of
Bipolar disorder which can be managed to some degree with
psychotropic medication. However, he is currently not [being]
prescribed psychotropic medication and therefore his
delusions and mood are not stable."
hearing conducted on August 29, 2016, the trial court stated
that Mr. Alexander "presents very lucid in court."
Thereafter, the parties stipulated that Dr. Toomer and Dr.
Huber would testify consistent with their reports. The trial
court, however, did not make any findings or enter an order
as to Mr. Alexander's competency.
November 2016, the trial court appointed two other
psychologists to perform competency evaluations of Mr.
Alexander, Dr. Michael Jochananov and Dr. Barton Jones. Dr.
Jochananov submitted a letter indicating that he
unsuccessfully attempted to examine Mr. Alexander, because
the detention center was on "lock down." Dr. Jones
issued a report indicating that Mr. Alexander was competent
to proceed, but his report did not address whether Mr.
Alexander has any mental illnesses.
hearing conducted on November 21, 2016, the trial court
stated that it could not make the competency determination
until it had the second report, and the matter was reset for
November 28, 2016. A review of the hearing transcript
indicates that the trial court did not make a competency
determination, and a review of the record reflects that the
trial court did not enter an order as to Mr. Alexander's
competency. Nonetheless, the docket sheet erroneously states
that the trial court had made a competency determination.
subsequent hearing conducted on June 16, 2017, the trial
court conducted a Faretta hearing following Mr.
Alexander's request to proceed pro se. During the
hearing, Mr. Alexander denied having any "mental
issues." Upon completion of the Faretta