United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AMENDED ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
DETERMINE COMPETENCY OF DEFENDANT TO STAND TRIAL
PAGE HOOD, CHIEF JUDGE
October 19, 2016, Defendant Donyal L. Grant
(“Grant”) was charged with being a Felon in
Possession of a Firearm. (Doc # 1) Ray E. Richards Jr.
appeared as counsel for Grant. (Doc # 7) Grant was later
charged by Indictment with being a Felon in Possession of a
Firearm; Armed Career Criminal (Count I) and Sex Trafficking
Using Force, Fraud, and Coercion (Count II). (Doc # 9)
Richards filed a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel on May 24,
2017. (Doc # 21) The Court granted Richards's Motion on
June 27, 2017. (Doc # 23) Christopher M. Seikaly
(“Seikaly”) appeared as counsel for Grant on July
7, 2017. (Doc # 24) Pursuant to a Stipulation and Order, a
jury trial was set for November 7, 2017. (Doc # 25)
matter is before the Court on Grant's Motion for a
hearing to determine his mental competency to stand trial.
(Doc # 26) Grant asserts that he has a long history of mental
illness, suffering from bi-polar disorder and taking
medication for his illness. Grant has confided in his counsel
that he hears voices telling him to do things. Grant also
asserts that his bi-polar medication does not stop the
voices. Grant further asserts that he has lost touch with
reality, is delusional and paranoid. (Doc # 26, Pg ID 2)
Grant also submitted Sanilac County medical records which
indicate he has a history of schizophrenia. The Government
does not object to Grant's Motion.
to 18 U.S.C. § 4241, a district court shall, upon a
motion or sua sponte, order a competency evaluation
“if there is reasonable cause to believe” a
defendant is incompetent to stand trial. United States v.
Gooch, 595 Fed.Appx. 524, 527 (6th Cir. 2014). A
criminal defendant's due-process right to a fair trial is
violated if a court fails to hold a proper competency hearing
where there is “substantial evidence of a
defendant's incompetency.” Pate v.
Robinson, 383 U.S. 375, 385-86 (1966).
defendant lacks (1) “sufficient present ability to
consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational
understanding” or (2) lacks “a rational as well
as factual understanding of the proceedings against
him” he is incompetent to stand trial. Id.
(citation omitted). A district court “has not only the
prerogative, but the duty, to inquire into a defendant's
competency.” United States v. White, 887 F.2d
705, 709 (6th Cir. 1989).
Sixth Circuit has held that “[t]he district court has a
measure of discretion in determining whether there is
‘reasonable cause' to believe that a defendant is
incompetent.” United States v. Dubrule, 822
F.3d 866, 879 (6th Cir. 2016) (citation omitted). In
determining the defendant's competence, a court should
look to “evidence of a defendant's irrational
behavior, his demeanor at trial, and any prior medical
opinion on competence to stand trial.” Drope v.
Missouri, 420 U.S. 162, 180 (1975). A court may also
consider the opinion of the defendant's attorney.
United States v. Tucker, 204 Fed.Appx. 518, 520 (6th
Cir. 2006). “[E]ven one of these factors standing alone
may, in some circumstances, be sufficient” to warrant a
competency hearing. Drope, 420 U.S. at 180. A
finding of competency at one point in the proceedings against
a defendant may be overcome later by additional evidence that
the defendant is incompetent. Id. at 181. Based on
Grant's assertions and the evidence submitted, there is
reasonable cause to believe Grant is suffering from a mental
disease or defect that could render him incompetent to stand
trial. Grant's Motion is granted.
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant Donyal L. Grant's Motion to
Determine his Competency to Stand Trial (Doc # 26) is
FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to the Insanity Defense Reform
Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. §§ 4241-4247, it is hereby
(1) A psychiatrist or psychologist employed by the United
States be appointed, authorized, and directed to examine the
mental condition of defendant, see Id. §§
4241(a), (b), 4247(b);
(2) Unless impracticable, the psychiatric or psychological
examination shall be conducted in a suitable facility closest
to the court, see § 4247(b);
(3) Defendant be committed to the custody of the Attorney
General for such psychiatric or psychological examination for
a period not to exceed 30 ...