United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
November 30, 2017, the Court held a hearing on the issue of
Bennie Lee Houston's dangerousness. At the hearing, the
Court found by a preponderance of the evidence that
Houston's release would not create a substantial risk of
bodily injury to another person or serious damage to property
of another. The Court also granted an ore tenus unopposed
motion of the Government to dismiss the pending charges
against Houston. This order memorializes these rulings.
14, 2015, Houston was charged in a two-count indictment with
one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one
count of possessing a firearm without a serial number. Doc.
8, 2017, this Court convened a competency hearing regarding
Houston's current mental state. Doc. #62. At the hearing,
the Court found Houston incompetent to stand trial and then,
on the Government's oral motion and without objection by
Houston, ordered a dangerousness assessment of Houston.
October 19, 2017, the Court received from the Federal Medical
Center in Butner, North Carolina (“FMC Butner”),
a Forensic Evaluation of Houston. Doc. #66. Following receipt
of the report, the Court noticed an evidentiary hearing for
November 8, 2017, on the issue of Houston's
dangerousness. Doc. #67. The evidentiary hearing was
subsequently reset for November 30, 2017.
#68. On November 30, 2017, the Court convened the hearing and
admitted into evidence without objection the October 19,
conclusion of the hearing, the Court found by a preponderance
of the evidence that Houston's release would not create a
substantial risk of bodily injury to another person or
serious damage to property of another. After this finding,
the Government orally moved to dismiss the charges currently
pending against Houston. After being advised that Houston did
not oppose dismissal, the Court granted the motion to
this Court directed a dangerousness assessment, Houston was
admitted to FMC Butner on July 11, 2017. At FMC Butner,
Houston was seen individually by Gillespie Wadsworth, a
Forensic Psychologist, and was regularly observed by staff.
Houston also appeared before a Risk Assessment Panel on
September 18, 2017. The evaluation period ended on October
to the report prepared by Gillespie at the conclusion of the
evaluation period, Houston suffers from schizophrenia, a
cocaine use disorder, and an alcohol use disorder. Despite
these diagnoses, Gillespie believes that:
Houston responds well to medication and his support system is
aware of his mental illness and [is] supportive of treatment.
He has a reasonable release plan and supports within the
community. Thus, although it is clear Mr. Houston suffers
from a mental disease or defect, this mental disease or
defect does not cause him to pose a substantial ...