District court reasonably denied competency hearing where defendant’s behavior was merely odd and disruptive
United States v. Landers,
No. 08-6105, ___ F.3d ___ (10th Cir. May 5, 2009)(W.D. Oklahoma).
Appeal of convictions for conspiring to impede federal officials in performance of their duties and for mailing threatening communications in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 372 and 876.
HELD: District court did not err by not ordering competency hearing. District court reasonably determined there was insufficient cause. While defendant’s courtroom behavior was disruptive, it was not hysterical or out of control. Defendant’s outbursts were limited to scripted presentations calculated to disrupt court proceedings and register continued protest against federal government. Nevertheless, while defendant advanced his anti-government claims by disruptive behavior and unusual pro se filings, nothing before the court suggested an inability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding or suggested an inability to form a rational understanding of the proceedings against him.
Read the opinion here.