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State v. Henderson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 5, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ISAIAH RAMON HENDERSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Nancy S. Tabor and John D. Telleen (sentencing), Judges.

         Isaiah Henderson appeals his convictions for two counts of delivery of crack cocaine and one count of interference with official acts inflicting bodily injury.

          Zeke R. McCartney of Reynolds & Kenline, L.L.P., Dubuque, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ. Tabor, J., takes no part.

          VAITHESWARAN, JUDGE.

         Iowa Code chapter 812 (2014) governs the confinement of people found incompetent to stand trial. This appeal raises issues relating to the restoration of competency following a finding of incompetency.

         I. Background Proceedings

         After the State charged Isaiah Henderson with several drug-related crimes, his attorney filed an application for a competency hearing. See Iowa Code § 812.3. The district court suspended the proceedings and ordered "a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether the defendant [was] suffering from a mental disorder which prevente[ed] [him] from appreciating the charge, understanding the proceedings, or assisting effectively in the defense." See id. § 812.3(2). On the same day, Henderson executed a waiver of his ninety-day speedy trial right. See Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.33(2)(b). The waiver also was signed by his attorney.

         A licensed psychologist and educator determined Henderson was "not competent to stand trial on the charges" but was "very likely to benefit from restoration efforts." At a subsequent competency hearing, the district court "found it appropriate to order that . . . he . . . be further evaluated" for restoration of competency. The court ordered the evaluation to "be performed on an inpatient basis at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center Forensic Psychiatric Hospital." The court noted that Henderson was about to start serving a sentence on an unrelated charge and would "be at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center [(IMCC)] anyway." Per agreement of the State and defense counsel, the court ordered Henderson placed in custody to serve the unrelated sentence.

         On receipt of the order, the department of corrections notified the court that "Mr. Henderson was admitted to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center . . . to serve his prison sentence" on the unrelated case and "[d]ue to his placement at IMCC as an incarcerated individual, he is not eligible for restoration treatment through [the] licensed Forensic Psychiatric Hospital." The department representative expressed a "willing[ness] to revisit this order upon the completion of his incarceration."

         In time, Henderson underwent a second competency evaluation. A physician again found him "not competent to stand trial" but reiterated he was a candidate for restoration.

         Shortly thereafter, Henderson moved for termination of his placement and the opportunity "to pursue restoration on an outpatient basis." See Iowa Code § 812.9(1) (stating a defendant "shall not remain under placement [for restoration due to incompetency] beyond the expiration of the maximum term of confinement for the criminal offense of which the defendant is accused, or eighteen months from the date of the original adjudication of incompetence to stand trial, . . . whichever occurs first"); 812.9(2) ("When the defendant's commitment equals eighteen months, the court shall schedule a hearing to determine whether the defendant is competent to stand trial . . . . If the defendant is not competent to stand trial after eighteen months, the court shall terminate the placement . . . ."). Following a hearing, the district court denied the motion. The court reasoned:

[T]he Defendant was ordered to the Iowa Medical and Classification Forensic Psychiatric Center for treatment for restoration . . . . He . . . entered the IMCC as a prisoner and as such was classified out to an appropriate facility to serve his sentence. As a prisoner, the defendant was not eligible to be housed in the psychiatric treatment facility for ...

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