This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Spencer (6992) FILLMORE, SPENCER LLC Attorneys for Defendant 3301 North University Avenue Provo, Utah 84604 Tel: (801) 426-8200 Fax: (801) 426-8208 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THE FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT UTAH COUNTY, STATE OF UTAH
STATE OF UTAH, Plaintiff, vs. PETITION FOR INQUIRY INTO DEFENDANT’S COMPETENCY; OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO CONTINUE TRIAL UNTIL DEFENDANT IS RESTORED TO A REASONABLE DEGREE OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CASE NO. 091400178
MARTIN J. MACNEILL, Defendant.
JUDGE SAMUEL D. MCVEY RANDALL K. SPENCER , attorney of record for Martin J. MacNeill, petitions the Court pursuant to Section 77-15-1, et seq., Utah Code Annotated, 1953, as amended, to enter an order that Mr. MacNeill be examined by two (2) alienists designated by the Utah County Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Competency, to inquire into his competency to proceed in the matter of the criminal charges pending against him. The undersigned alleges upon information and belief that Mr. MacNeill may not be competent to proceed with the charge now pending against him due to his inability to reasonably and rationally assist counsel in the preparation of his own defense.
WHEREFORE, the undersigned respectfully requests the Court to enter an order for two (2) qualified alienists to be appointed for an evaluation to be conducted at the Utah County Jail where Mr. MacNeill is currently detained and that a report be completed and submitted to the Court and to counsel in written form within thirty (30) days and that the Court affix a time for hearing to determine the competency of the defendant to proceed with this matter. This petition is based on the following facts believed to be true and asserted in good faith by counsel: 1. Mr. MacNeill has suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disease since his late teens or early twenties. 2. Symptoms of Defendant’s mental illnesses have waxed and waned through the years. 3. On or about December 5, 2013, while incarcerated in the Utah County Jail, Mr. MacNeill attempted suicide by using a disposable razor blade and cutting his femoral artery. 4. But for the quick response of the Utah County Jail Deputies, Mr. MacNeill’s suicide attempt certainly would have been successful. 5. Mr. MacNeill was hospitalized until on or about December 9, 2013, and was then returned to the Utah County Jail and held in the medical unit. 6. In the Medical Unit of the Utah County Jail, Mr. MacNeill was only allowed to wear a wrap-around robe of sorts designed to prevent clothing from being used in a suicide attempt. 7. Mr. MacNeill was housed in a room wherein the lights were not turned off to sleep, and he was only given a thin mat on the floor on which to attempt to sleep. Mr.
MacNeill found it very difficult to get any restful sleep. 8. Mr. MacNeill has informed the Utah County Jail that he is a vegetarian, yet the jail has refused to provide him with vegetarian meals that are adequate to provide appropriate nourishment. 9. In the medical unit, the Utah County Jail deputies prohibited Mr. MacNeill from having contact with other inmates, and have restricted communication with people other than his attorneys. He was not even allowed paper and pencil with which to write a letter. 10. Mr. MacNeill has not been allowed to shave or be shaved. 11. He has only been allowed to brush his teeth once a day. 12. In approximately late December, Mr. MacNeill was moved from the medical unit to an isolation cell with the same treatment as the medical unit continuing. 13. Mr. MacNeill continues to be housed in an isolation cell in a suicide robe and in circumstances that are worse than even the medical unit. 14. He continues to have lights shined on him 24 hours a day and to not be able to get restful sleep or receive an appropriate vegetarian meal for physical nourishment. 15. If he is moved outside of his isolation cell even to go to the shower room, he is now cuffed and chained—a procedure that was not used when he was in the medical unit. 16. I have visited and/or spoke with him numerous times since his suicide attempt on December 5, 2013 including three personal visits in the past week. 17. It is my observation and belief that Mr. MacNeill’s condition is bad and worsening. 18. He appears to have lost a substantial amount of weight since I was with him every
day for five weeks during trial in October and November. The suicide prevention robe leaves his arms bare from the shoulders to his hands, and his legs bare from above the knees to his feet. He is constantly cold. 19. His face is drawn; his eyes are perpetually red. He is gaunt. He is isolated from personal interaction. He has been informed that as long as he is in the Utah County Jail, he will be on suicide watch with the same treatment as described above. Though I believe the Utah County Jail is intending to prevent a repeat suicide attempt, his conditions, though not intended to be so, are a mild form of torture. 20. He does not seem to care about the pending trial or how it may affect him, which is a completely different mental state for him than my past experience over the last six and a half years of representation. 21. Without being in a mental state of caring about the nature of the proceedings against him, he is not able to reasonably assist me in preparation of his defense. 22. I believe that the reason for his current mentally and physically impaired state stems from his underlying mental illnesses and the manner in which he is being housed at the Utah County Jail. 23. Though I believe the Utah County Jail’s actions are intended to preserve his life by preventing a repeat attempt at suicide, the manner in which he is being housed is slowly killing him, and having a significant effect on his mental health to the point that I seriously question his competency to reasonably assist me in preparing for trial and meaningfully during a trial. 24. Alternatively, Mr. MacNeill’s physical appearance and mental faculties have substantially and noticeably deteriorated during the time he has been on suicide
watch. 25. I believe that in addition to his inability to currently rationally assist me in preparation for and during trial due to his mental state, his current physical appearance will affect the outcome of the pending trial. The physical appearance of a defendant unquestionably affects a jury. Due in large part to the suicide watch regimen that Mr. MacNeill is currently subjected to at the Utah County Jail, the government has caused his appearance to significantly deteriorate. His inability to get restful sleep for a month and a half alone has taken a substantial toll on him. 26. I believe that the above stated facts and observations raise a serious question regarding Mr. MacNeill’s competency that should be evaluated by qualified alienists. Additionally, I believe that the state action, although intended to prevent another suicide attempt, has led to a substantial deterioration in his mental and physical condition, and constitutes a due process violation because it will unquestionably negatively affect the way Mr. MacNeill will be perceived by a jury and compromise his right to a fair trial. For the foregoing reasons which I certify are set forth in good faith, I respectfully request the Court to order a competency evaluation. If for any reason the Court does not grant my request to conduct a competency evaluation, I request that the Court continue the trial that is presently scheduled for February 4, 2014 until Mr. MacNeill can be restored to reasonable mental and physical health. DATED this 22 day of January, 2014.
Randall K. Spencer Attorney for Defendant
I hereby certify that I mailed a copy of the foregoing petition for inquiry into defendant's competency to proceed to the Utah County Attorney’s Office, 100 East Center, Suite 2100, Provo, UT 84606, this 22 day of January, 2014.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.