United States v. Ricardo Diaz


PER CURIAM OPINION FILED - THE COURT: James B. Loken, Kermit E. Bye and Jane Kelly (UNPUBLISHED); [4332569-2] Granting motion to withdraw as counsel filed by Mr. Ian A. Lewis. [4399115] [15-3094]

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United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit ___________________________ No. 15-3094 ___________________________ United States of America lllllllllllllllllllll Plaintiff - Appellee v. Ricardo Diaz lllllllllllllllllllll Defendant - Appellant ____________ Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Springfield ____________ Submitted: May 6, 2016 Filed: May 16, 2016 [Unpublished] ____________ Before LOKEN, BYE, and KELLY, Circuit Judges. ____________ PER CURIAM. Ricardo Diaz, who was found incompetent to stand trial under 18 U.S.C. § 4241(d) on criminal charges involving assault on a federal officer and attempt to Appellate Case: 15-3094 Page: 1 Date Filed: 05/16/2016 Entry ID: 4399115 set fire to government property, appeals the district court’s1 order committing him under 18 U.S.C. § 4246, which provides for the hospitalization of a person found after a hearing to be suffering from a mental disease or defect such that his release would create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person or serious damage to the property of another. See United States v. Williams, 299 F.3d 673, 676 (8th Cir. 2002). For reversal, Diaz argues that there is insufficient evidence to support the district court’s commitment order. Having reviewed for clear error the factual determinations underlying the district court’s commitment decision, see id., we affirm. Like the district court, we note that there is unanimous agreement among the mental health experts who assessed Diaz at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri--where he is presently confined for treatment--that his release would be dangerous, in part because his symptoms persist even while he is taking psychiatric medication, and his aggressive behaviors have been linked to his delusional beliefs about suffering abuse at the hands of various governmental officials. The opinion of the mental health experts--combined with Diaz’s history of violent behavior, substance abuse from a young age, limited insight into his mental condition, and history of failing to comply with prescribed medication--support the district court’s commitment order. See Williams, 299 F.3d at 678; United States v. Ecker, 30 F.3d 966, 970 (8th Cir.1994) (suggested factors in determining potential dangerousness). The judgment is affirmed, and counsel’s motion to withdraw is granted. ______________________________ 1 The Honorable M. Douglas Harpool, United States District Judge for the Western District of Missouri, adopting the report and recommendations of the Honorable David P. Rush, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Missouri. -2- Appellate Case: 15-3094 Page: 2 Date Filed: 05/16/2016 Entry ID: 4399115

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