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United States v. Wilson

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 9, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Richard Dean Wilson, Jr., Defendant.

          Angela M. Munoz-Kaphing, United States Attorney's Office, for the Government.

          Kyle David White, White Law Firm, for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court for consideration of Defendant Richard Dean Wilson, Jr.'s Objection/Appeal [Doc. No. 58] from the March 12, 2018 Order of Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois [Doc. No. 56] (“Order”). Defendant filed a Motion for Competency Evaluation [Doc. No. 21], which the magistrate judge granted. (Order dated May 1, 2017 [Doc. No. 27].) After an evidentiary hearing, the magistrate judge found Defendant competent to stand trial under 18 U.S.C. § 4241(d). Defendant has appealed that decision to this Court. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will overrule Defendant's Objection/Appeal and adopt the Order in its entirety.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The magistrate judge's Order documents the relevant factual and procedural background of this case, and the Court incorporates it by reference. The Court also summarizes the most relevant facts below.

         A. Procedural Background

         Defendant is a person with a mental illness or cognitive impairment that limits his ability to be self-sufficient. (Tr. [Doc. No. 51], at 44-45.) For this reason, he has been assigned a caseworker through Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (“ARMHS”). (Id. at 12.) Defendant has also been found eligible for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) due to the following severe impairments: social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder. (Def.'s Ex. 2 (SSI Decision, at 3).)

         Early last year, Defendant was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota State District Court. Attorney James Hughes was appointed as his counsel, and met with him for approximately an hour on March 10, 2017. (Tr., at 15, 17.) During the meeting, Hughes became concerned that Defendant was not making eye contact, spoke very softly, and fidgeted, and that it was “not clear” whether the material he was trying to discuss with Defendant “was clicking.” (Id. at 9-10, 20.) Hughes moved for an evaluation of Defendant's mental competency to stand trial, and the Minnesota State District Court granted the motion and ordered an evaluation. (Id. at 10, 28.) Hughes received a referral to Dr. Gerald Henkel-Johnson, whom the court ordered to complete an evaluation of Defendant's mental capacity to stand trial, as well as his criminal responsibility. (Id. at 24-25, 40; Def.'s Ex. 4 (Henkel-Johnson Report).)

         Around the same time, Defendant was charged in this Court with possession, production, and distribution of child pornography, as well as sexual exploitation of a child. (Compl. [Doc. No. 4]; Indictment [Doc. No. 13].) Defendant filed a Motion for Competency Evaluation on April 24, 2017, and the magistrate judge granted it. (Order dated May 1, 2017 [Doc. No. 27].) The magistrate judge ordered Defendant committed to a suitable Federal Medical Center, and Defendant was transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where he was evaluated by Dr. David Szyhowski. (Id.; Gov't's Ex. 1 (Szyhowski Report).)

         After Dr. Szyhowski completed his evaluation, Defendant requested an evidentiary hearing to determine competency. Defendant also requested an additional evaluation by a neuropsychologist. The magistrate judge granted both requests, and Dr. Norman Cohen conducted a neuropsychology evaluation. (Order dated Oct. 13, 2017 [Doc. No. 42].)

         B. Mental Health Evaluations

         Four separate mental health evaluations were submitted for the magistrate judge's consideration in this case. The first was completed by Drs. Lindsay Kujawa and Donald Farnsworth on March 6, 2017, shortly before Defendant was arrested, as “an evaluation of his cognitive and psychological functioning” for Defendant's application for SSI benefits. (Def.'s Ex. 1 (Kujawa/Farnsworth Report, at 1, 17).) Though the Kujawa/Farnsworth Report was not prepared for the purposes of determining competence, some of the findings are applicable here.

         The report cautioned that Defendant's “complex symptom presentation, which cuts across diagnostic category, ” was “the single biggest challenge” in his evaluation. (Id. at 14.)

         The Kujawa/Farnsworth Report diagnosed schizotypal personality disorder, which included a tendency to “misinterpret reality or to have distorted perceptions, ” “odd beliefs and magical thinking, ” and paranoia. (Id.) The Report also diagnosed social anxiety disorder, causing Defendant to assume that “others will negatively judge him and be aware of his perceived flaws.” (Id.) The Kujawa/Farnsworth Report rejected Defendant's expressed concern that he suffered from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (“FAS”), because his mother stated that she did not utilize drugs or alcohol during the pregnancy, and Defendant had “met all developmental milestones.” (Id. at 15.) Among the tests that Drs. Kujawa and Farnsworth applied was a Wechsler Adult Intelligence ...


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