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United States v. Norman

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southwestern Division

March 23, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHASE TREVOR NORMAN, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

DAVID P. RUSH, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on the issue of the defendant's competency to stand trial. On December 11, 2014, at the request of the defendant, the Court ordered a psychological evaluation. David M. Szyhowski, Psy.D, Psychologist at the Metropolitan Correctional Center - Chicago, evaluated the defendant between December 29, 2014, and February 20, 2015. His report was submitted to the Court on March 2, 2015 (Doc. 21). The undersigned held a hearing on March 16, 2015, on the questions whether 1) defendant is competent to stand trial pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241, and (2) at the time of the alleged offense, the defendant was able to appreciate the nature and quality of the wrongfulness of his acts, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §4242 (Doc. 26). Defendant appeared in person with counsel. No evidence was presented, other than the report of Dr. Szyhowski, which already appeared in the record.

After thorough evaluation, Dr. Szyhowski opined that the defendant is competent to proceed. He stated:

At the present time, Mr. Norman presents with symptoms of depression. However, he does not appear to be suffering from any severe mental disease or defect that has impacted his ability to understand the legal proceedings or to properly assist his counsel. His competency related abilities do not appear to be compromised by a severe mental disease or defect at this time. He presently appears appropriate for continuation of criminal proceedings.

Regarding his mental state at the time of the alleged offense, Dr. Szyhowski opined that Norman's "actions during the time period of the alleged offense suggest he maintained sufficient capacity to appreciate the nature, quality, and wrongfulness of the behaviors attributed to him."

Based upon the opinions of Dr. Szyhowski, which was the only evidence before the Court on the question of competency and the question of sanity at the time of the offense, the undersigned respectfully RECOMMENDS that Defendant Chase Trevor Norman be declared competent to stand trial and be declared to have been capable of appreciating the nature and quality of the wrongfulness of his acts.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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