Defendant appealed the denial of his motion for post-conviction relief that alleged his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate his competency to enter a guilty plea. When defendant pled guilty to second-degree assault and resisting arrest, he testified that he had been taking prescribed medications but stated that nothing about his health affected his judgment. However, at sentencing, defense counsel cited defendant’s schizophrenia as a mitigating factor; defense counsel also advised defendant not to speak due to his mental condition. Although defendant presented expert testimony that opined defendant was not competent to proceed with the plea and sentencing hearings, the trial court denied post-conviction relief.
Where defendant appeared to have the capacity to consult effectively with counsel, counsel had no duty to investigate defendant’s mental condition or capacity to stand trial, particularly where defendant was compliant with his medication and did not exhibit any psychoses.
Judgment is affirmed.
Hecker v. State (MLW No. 80729/Case No. SC100084 – 13 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Russell, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Livingston County, Beetem, J. (Jeffrey C. Esparza, St. Louis, and Michael K. Hill, Kansas City, for appellant) (Karen L. Kramer and Evan J. Buchheim, Jefferson City, for respondent)