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State ex rel. J.C.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

November 20, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA IN THE INTEREST OF J.C.

          Appealed from the Minden City Court, Ward One Parish of Webster, Louisiana Trial Court No. J4048-16.6 Honorable C. Sherburne Sentell, III, Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Katherine M. Franks Counsel for Appellant, J.C., Child.

          J. SCHUYLER MARVIN District Attorney, JOHN M. LAWRENCE ANDREW C. JACOBS MARCUS R. PATILLO Assistant District Attorneys Counsel for Appellee, State of Louisiana.

          Before MOORE, PITMAN, and COX, JJ.

          PITMAN, J.

         J.C. appeals the trial court's determination that he had the mental capacity to proceed. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court's determination and J.C.'s adjudication and disposition. We remand for the trial court to provide J.C. with written notice of the requirements for registration as a sex offender.

         FACTS

         On June 8, 2018, the state filed an amended petition charging J.C., a juvenile whose date of birth is July 8, 2004, with first degree rape.

         J.C.'s counsel requested a competency determination, and the trial court appointed Dr. Perry Hill, a licensed psychologist, and Dr. Pamela McPherson, a medical doctor practicing psychiatry, to evaluate J.C. Drs. Hill and McPherson both submitted written reports.

         In his report, Dr. Hill stated that he evaluated J.C. in July 2018 and previously evaluated him in November 2017.[1] He stated that J.C. demonstrated marginal intellectual functioning, with related immaturity in reasoning and decision making. Regarding his awareness of the nature of legal proceedings, Dr. Hill stated that J.C.:

1. Has an incomplete and immature understanding of the nature of the charge against him, as well as the seriousness of the charge;
2. Is able to distinguish between a guilty and not guilty pleas;
3. Shows a partial understanding of consequences of either plea;
4. Does not demonstrate an understanding of defenses available to him;
5. Has partial understanding of the roles of Judge, Defendant, Prosecutor, and Defense Counsel;
6. Appears to understand possible verdict a Judge may reach if he[] were to go to trial; and,
7. Has an incomplete and immature understanding of consequences of a conviction.

         Regarding J.C.'s ability to assist counsel in his defense, Dr. Hill found:

1. [J.C.] is able to recall and relate facts pertaining to his actions and whereabouts in regards to ...

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