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Competent To Stand

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By Kelly Gilbert and Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff | November 16, 1990
A federal judge today found accused kidnapper Keith W. McCormick Jr. competent to stand trial on charges tied to the alleged July 22 rape-abduction of a Goucher College student.Judge William M. Nickerson issued the ruling at a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.The judge did not set a trial date pending possible defense motions that are to be filed next month.Psychiatrists at a federal prison in Atlanta said in a report to the judge that they found McCormick, 33, of Edgewood, to be "lucid" and able to assist in his defense.
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NEWS
By Jessica Anderson and The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2014
A Baltimore County judge ruled Monday that a man on trial for killing his ex-girlfriend is competent to stand trial. Circuit Court Judge Ruth Ann Jakubowski called for the additional evaluations of Jeffrey Shiflett last week after his attorneys argued that he is no longer able to comprehend the proceedings, nor assist his council in his defense. Shiflett was evaluated by an mental health expert Monday morning. Shiflett has previously undergone two evaluations before the trial that allowed the case to proceed but his attorneys said his recent outbursts, sometimes obscene or threatening, show his condition has deteriorated.
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NEWS
By Nicole Fuller and Nicole Fuller,SUN REPORTER | October 17, 2007
Prosecutors say he is guilty of a horrific crime that could send him to prison for life: raping a 62-year-old woman on the floor of a coin-operated laundry, then stealing $6 from her purse. But Anne Arundel County Judge Paul A. Hackner found Christopher Parr, 27, of Baltimore not competent to stand trial yesterday on charges of first-degree rape - or of assaulting jail employees on two occasions - in a case that illustrated the difficulties of prosecuting mentally ill criminal defendants.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Brent Jones, The Baltimore Sun | April 26, 2010
A former Greenmount community leader accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife outside a Baltimore courthouse — shortly after she had secured a protective order — has been determined by a medical facility to be competent to stand trial, according to prosecutors. That finding was briefly mentioned in Baltimore City Circuit Court today, as the trial of Cleaven Williams Jr. was scheduled to begin. The finding still must be officially confirmed by the court. After the brief court proceeding today, Williams' trial was postponed.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer | November 11, 1993
A 29-year-old woman, charged with fatally shooting a woman she suspected of child abuse, was found competent to stand trial yesterday by a Circuit Court judge.Arletta Mary Moore, of Glen Burnie, is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday charged with first-degree murder in the May shooting death of Dawn Renee Meyers, 31, of Ferndale.Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. found Ms. Moore competent after a brief hearing yesterday.At 12:30 p.m. May 31, Ms. Moore walked into the Millersville Inn in the 8400 block of Veterans Highway, across the street from county police headquarters.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF | June 23, 2004
A supervising doctor from the state's forensic psychiatric hospital testified yesterday that a Baltimore man not only is competent to stand trial in the killing of his girlfriend's 8-year-old daughter but also is so aware of the legal proceedings that he "dramatizes his actions" in the courtroom to influence the judge who will decide whether the case goes forward. Dr. Saadia Alizai, director of admissions at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center and supervisor of the forensic psychiatry fellowship program, told a Baltimore County judge that Jamaal Abeokuto's actions in court - clutching his head, kneading his forehead and gazing down with what the defense team's psychologist described in testimony Monday as "vacant" eyes - appear to be an act. She said the mannerisms are an extension of the embellishments and "malingering."
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | April 16, 1998
A 41-year-old man who pleaded guilty yesterday to fatally shooting a veteran police lieutenant in the back was ordered confined to a mental institution as part of a plea bargain that enraged the officer's family.The wife of slain Lt. Owen E. Sweeney Jr. told a Circuit Court judge that she could not understand the unanimous conclusions of four psychiatrists who found Baron Michael Cherry competent to stand trial but not legally responsible for shooting her husband May 7. The plea spares the confessed killer jail time.
NEWS
By Maria Archangelo and Maria Archangelo,Staff writer | November 17, 1991
A Hampstead man charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife's lover is awaiting evaluation by doctors to determineif he is mentally competent to stand trial.Charles Albert RhodesJr., of the 800 block of Houcksville Road, is charged with first- and second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Steven E. Rupp.Public defenders Brian Green and Rick Bernhardt were to argue Thursday that statements Rhodes made to police and evidence seized at the scene of the shooting should be ruled inadmissible.
NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF | September 11, 1998
A Howard County judge has postponed the capital murder trial of Smith Harper Dean III this month so mental health evaluations can be performed to determine the defendant's insanity and competency pleas, his lawyer said yesterday.Dean, 39, of Hampstead is charged with two counts of homicide in the shotgun slayings of Sharon Lee Mechalske, 38, of Hampstead and Kent Leonard Cullison, 30, an Arcadia mail carrier, in June 1997. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.Originally scheduled for June 15, Dean's trial was postponed NTC until Sept.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | April 28, 1998
A 65-year-old man who was arrested in 1992 for trying to hire someone to kill a circuit judge was convicted of the crime yesterday but was then found not criminally responsible and returned to a psychiatric hospital, the Baltimore prosecutor said.John Klauenberg was convicted of solicitation to murder after a three-day jury trial in Baltimore Circuit Court before Judge Mabel Houze Hubbard.City State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy said that three times between April 28 and May 6, 1992, Klauenberg offered money to an employee of an Erdman Avenue carwash to kill Baltimore County Judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr. as the judge drove to the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he taught part time.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | February 6, 2010
A 55-year-old Howard County man - tentatively diagnosed last year as possibly too psychotic, suicidal and severely depressed to stand trial - pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to arson for setting fire to his Highland home and electronics recycling business on Halloween 2008. According to a statement of facts contained in Scott Daniel Wilson's plea agreement, he jumped into his Jeep after setting the blaze and "narrowly missed hitting a Howard County" firefighter responding to the fire.
NEWS
By Ruma Kumar and Ruma Kumar,Sun Reporter | April 3, 2008
A Pasadena man accused of shooting his mother to death is no longer refusing to take his psychiatric medicines and is now competent to stand trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys said in an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court hearing yesterday. The attorneys' determination follows a February report from doctors at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup that found that Zachary Thomas Neiman, 27, can assist in his defense. Neiman faces first-degree murder charges in the July 2006 slaying of his mother, Rae Bajus.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Justin Fenton,Sun reporter | December 9, 2007
A Pasadena man, who had refused to take medicine that would make him mentally competent to stand trial in the murder of his mother, has "regained his capacity to make responsible decisions," doctors have determined. The development, revealed in court papers filed in Howard County Circuit Court last week, could jump-start the trial of 26-year-old Zachary Thomas Neiman, which was postponed in August because he stopped taking psychiatric medications. In September, Neiman, who is being held at the state psychiatric facility, Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup, stopped eating; his intention was to kill himself, according to a family member.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller and Nicole Fuller,SUN REPORTER | October 17, 2007
Prosecutors say he is guilty of a horrific crime that could send him to prison for life: raping a 62-year-old woman on the floor of a coin-operated laundry, then stealing $6 from her purse. But Anne Arundel County Judge Paul A. Hackner found Christopher Parr, 27, of Baltimore not competent to stand trial yesterday on charges of first-degree rape - or of assaulting jail employees on two occasions - in a case that illustrated the difficulties of prosecuting mentally ill criminal defendants.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Andrea F. Siegel and Justin Fenton and Andrea F. Siegel,Sun reporters | August 14, 2007
Accused of killing his mother with two shotgun blasts as she sat on her sofa, Zachary Thomas Neiman says he wants his day in court. But he has refused to take medicine that prosecutors say would allow doctors to deem him mentally competent to stand trial. "Mr. Neiman has drawn a line in the sand and said, `This is how much medicine I'm taking,'" Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Alban said yesterday at a court hearing. "A lot of it lies with Mr. Neiman." Refusing treatment won't free the 26-year-old Pasadena man anytime soon, experts say. While a person charged with a crime can theoretically avoid trial - or prison - by being found mentally incompetent, that defendant will end up remaining in a state institution where psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, nurses and other experts will continually watch, test and re-evaluate him. "People aren't getting away with anything.
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | August 17, 2004
A Baltimore man accused of killing his girlfriend's 8-year-old daughter is competent to stand trial, a Baltimore County judge decided yesterday. The ruling means that Jamaal Abeokuto's first-degree murder trial, which had been derailed in April to allow mental health professionals to evaluate him, can go forward. Abeokuto is accused of kidnapping Marciana Ringo, a Northwood Elementary school pupil, slitting her throat and leaving her body in a wooded area of Harford County. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
NEWS
By Jennifer McMenamin and Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF | June 23, 2004
A supervising doctor from the state's forensic psychiatric hospital testified yesterday that a Baltimore man not only is competent to stand trial in the killing of his girlfriend's 8-year-old daughter but also is so aware of the legal proceedings that he "dramatizes his actions" in the courtroom to influence the judge who will decide whether the case goes forward. Dr. Saadia Alizai, director of admissions at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center and supervisor of the forensic psychiatry fellowship program, told a Baltimore County judge that Jamaal Abeokuto's actions in court - clutching his head, kneading his forehead and gazing down with what the defense team's psychologist described in testimony Monday as "vacant" eyes - appear to be an act. She said the mannerisms are an extension of the embellishments and "malingering."
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