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Rickman v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

January 7, 2014

Matthew Thomas RICKMAN a/k/a Matthew Rickman a/k/a Matthew T. Rickman, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Page 961

Office of the State Public Defender by Justin Taylor Cook, attorney for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by Jeffrey A. Klingfuss, attorney for appellee.

Page 962

Before LEE, C.J., MAXWELL and FAIR, JJ.

LEE, C.J.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 1. On June 6, 2010, Thomas Sanchez and Matthew Rickman broke into Wolfgang Netsch's home in Picayune, Mississippi. The men attacked, shot, and robbed Netsch. Netsch survived and identified Rickman as one of his attackers.

¶ 2. Rickman was indicted by a Pearl River County grand jury for armed robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On January 26, 2012, the trial court ordered psychiatrist Dr. Albert B. DeVillier to conduct a forensic mental evaluation of Rickman's competency and determine if Rickman (1) understood the nature of the proceedings against him; (2) had the ability to assist his attorneys in his defense; and (3) understood " the difference between right and wrong in relation to his actions at the time under the M'Naughton rule."

¶ 3. Dr. DeVillier evaluated Rickman on February 6, 2012, and filed his report with the trial court on February 21, 2012. Dr. DeVillier reported that Rickman had been diagnosed with epilepsy. Rickman also mentioned having visual, but not auditory, hallucinations. Rickman stated that he had been on Tegretol, a seizure medication, but he had not taken it in quite some time. At the time of the evaluation, Rickman was on the antidepressant Zoloft. Although Rickman was prescribed the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, he refused to take it because it made him " too sleepy."

¶ 4. Dr. DeVillier noted that Rickman's judgment indicated some significant paranoia. In the Axis I portion of the " Diagnosis" section of the report, Dr. DeVillier stated " Rule Out Schizoaffective."

¶ 5. While he could not determine Rickman's mental state at the time of the crime, Dr. DeVillier came to a conclusion about Rickman's mental state at the time of the evaluation.

It is my opinion that Mr. Rickman has [a] good factual and rational understanding of the nature and object of the legal proceedings against him. However, at the present time I feel he does not have the mental stability to confer in a reasonable manner with his attorney or behave in the courtroom without becoming disruptive. He does understand the charges against him and possible conviction if found guilty.
....
It is my opinion that Mr. Rickman has a mental and ...

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