US v. Jerry Jenkins

Filing 920090218


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FILED: February 17, 2009 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT ___________________ No. 07-4117 (1:04-cr-00255-BEL) ___________________ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee v. JERRY LEE JENKINS, Defendant - Appellant ___________________ O R D E R ___________________ The Court amends its opinion filed February 17, 2009, as follows: On the title page, the district court case number is amended by substituting "cr" for "cv." For the Court--By Direction /s/ Patricia S. Connor, Clerk UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 07-4117 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. JERRY LEE JENKINS, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Benson Everett Legg, Chief District Judge. (1:04-cr-00255-BEL) Submitted: January 30, 2009 Decided: February 17, 2009 Before MOTZ, SHEDD, and AGEE, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Raymond J. Rigat, Washington, D.C., for Appellant. Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, James G. Warwick, Tonya Kelly Kowitz, Assistant United States Attorneys, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Jerry Lee Jenkins was convicted by a jury of one count of bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2113(a), (f) On (2006), and was sentenced to 210 months of imprisonment. appeal, he argues that the district court erred in failing to order sua sponte a mental competency hearing. we affirm. Whether ordered a the district hearing court is should have for an sua sponte of Finding no error, competency reviewed abuse discretion. Cir. 2002). United States v. General, 278 F.3d 389, 396 (4th A district court must determine if "[the defendant] has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding . . . and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him." 402 (1960). Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402, The defendant shall be considered incompetent if the district court finds, "by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense." 18 U.S.C. 4241(d) (2006). The defendant bears the burden of United States v. Robinson, 404 establishing his incompetence. F.3d 850, 856 (4th Cir. 2005). 2 Jenkins' growing number of statements prisoners indicate adhering to that a he "flesh is among a and blood" sovereign man philosophy. See United States v. Mitchell, 405 F. Supp. 2d 602, 603-06 (D. Md. 2005) (describing the theory, its sources, and its anti-government movement predecessors). Adherence to an ill-advised, self-defeating legal strategy does not indicate 482 incompetence F.3d 733, to 743 on stand (4th the trial. Cir. United 2007). States v. Banks, Competency capacity in to his determinations understand the turn only defendant's to proceedings, the capacity assist defense, and the capacity to communicate with counsel, and not on his willingness to do so. 432 (4th Cir. 1995). Jenkins' filings with the court and statements to the court indicate that Jenkins was able to articulate his, albeit unconventional, legal strategy. and blood defense was not His choice to pursue the flesh of a mental defect or See Bell v. Evatt, 72 F.3d 421, indicative incompetence. Although the court strongly recommended that the Bureau of Prisons assess Jenkins for suspected bipolar disorder, nothing in the record indicates that such illness rendered Further, as a Jenkins incompetent to stand trial or be sentenced. although Jenkins highlights to his drug and alcohol is abuse no contributing factor incompetence, there evidence demonstrating that the abuse rendered him incompetent. 3 Accordingly, failure to hold was We a we conclude sua of that sponte the on district Jenkins' and a court's mental the hearing an abuse competency judgment. not discretion motion for affirm deny Jenkins' competency determination on appeal and pro se motion to dismiss counsel. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 4

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