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Home / Opinions / Courts / Court of Appeals, Southern District / Criminal Law: Competency Examination – Severance – Speedy Trial

Criminal Law: Competency Examination – Severance – Speedy Trial

(1)Where a defendant in a robbery case argued that the trial court erred in denying his new trial motion because the court failed to order a mental competency examination,  the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant’s oral request for an exam because statements from the defendant and his counsel standing alone were insufficient to make a reasonable judge doubt the defendant’s competency, and the transcript of the trial and sentencing showed that the defendant’s testimony was responsive, relevant and rational.

(2)Where a defendant challenged the joinder of two robbery charges, the robberies were part of a common scheme or plan since they were part of a crime spree in which the defendant robbed people, bought narcotics and fled from police in one day, so joinder was appropriate, and trial court did not err in denying severance since the defendant did not show that he was prejudiced.

(3)Where the length of delay between a defendant’s arrest and trial was more than eight months, the delay was presumed prejudicial, but the defendant appeared to be trying to avoid trial rather than seek a speedy trial, and the defendant also failed to show that he was prejudiced by the delay, so his motion to dismiss on speedy trial grounds was properly denied.

Judgment is affirmed.

State v. Smith (MLW No. 64102/Case No. SD30986 – 32 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, Lynch, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Jasper County, Mouton, J. (Daniel Neal McPherson, Jefferson City, for respondent) (Kent Denzel, Columbia, for appellant).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)