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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RENARD HUNT (10/20/78)

decided: October 20, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
RENARD HUNT, APPELLANT



No. 608 April Term, 1977, No. 609 April Term, 1977, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, at CI7303140A April Sessions, 1973, and at CI7304032A May Sessions, 1973, Criminal Division.

COUNSEL

Morton B. DeBroff, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Leo M. Dillon, Assistant District Attorney, with him Robert E. Colville, District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Jacobs, President Judge, and Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, Spaeth and Hester, JJ. The decision in this case was made prior to the retirement of Hoffman, J. Price, J., dissents. Van der Voort and Hester, JJ., dissent. They would affirm the judgment and sentence of the court below.

Author: Hoffman

[ 259 Pa. Super. Page 2]

Appellant requests that our Court order an evidentiary hearing to determine whether he was competent to stand

[ 259 Pa. Super. Page 3]

    trial. We grant this request and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

On March 16, 1973, a Corapolis, Allegheny County, police officer arrested appellant and charged him with robbery,*fn1 receiving stolen goods,*fn2 and assault and battery with intent to kill.*fn3 The charges stemmed from a robbery of a taxicab driver and an ensuing attack on the victim with a five inch paring knife. When appellant failed to post bail, he was placed in the Allegheny County jail.

On April 23, 1973, Allegheny County authorities charged appellant with prison breach,*fn4 assault by a prisoner,*fn5 holding a hostage,*fn6 and aggravated assault and battery.*fn7 The complaint alleged that on April 22, 1973, appellant accosted a prison guard, held a five inch piece of glass to his throat, inflicted a wound, and ordered the guard to open the prison gate. After subduing appellant, prison authorities placed him in the jail hospital under full restraint.

On April 27, 1973, Duncan Campbell, a staff psychiatrist with the Allegheny County Behavior Clinic, interviewed appellant and wrote a report in which Dr. Campbell stated that appellant needed some restriction because of his dependence on drugs, particularly heroin and amphetamines. While recognizing that appellant suffered from a personality disorder and a dependency on drugs, Dr. Campbell opined that appellant was not "grossly mentally ill." Dr. Campbell concluded that appellant should be judged according to the evidence.

[ 259 Pa. Super. Page 4]

In September, 1973, prison officials, concerned that appellant might be psychotic because of his strange behavior,*fn8 asked the Behavior Clinic to conduct another psychiatric examination. On September 18, 1973, Dr. Robert Bowman, a staff psychiatrist, examined appellant and filed a report. Dr. Bowman observed many manifestations of disturbed behavior which suggested that appellant had extremely tenuous control over himself. Dr. Bowman concluded that ". . . we are dealing with a clear cut paranoid individual at the present time who is apparently regressing. I will continue to follow him. If the picture remains unchanged, some ...


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