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United States v. Barnard

United States District Court, D. Maine

June 3, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JEFFREY PAUL BARNARD

          ORDER STRIKING NOTICE OF INSANITY DEFENSE AND DENYING MOTION FOR PSYCHIATRIC EXAM

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The week before his trial is set to begin, Jeffrey Paul Barnard-a Defendant who is proceeding pro se-issued a Notice of Insanity under Rule 12.2 and made a demand for a psychiatric evaluation. The Court concludes that the motion is untimely, and that Mr. Barnard has not offered any explanation for its tardiness. Absent any indication of good cause for a late notice, the Court views Mr. Barnard’s motion as another attempt to delay the trial scheduled to begin June 7, 2016. The Court denies the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         After a criminal complaint was issued against Jeffrey Paul Barnard on June 19, 2014, a federal grand jury indicted him on July 17, 2014 for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Compl. (ECF No. 1); Indictment (ECF No. 12) (Indictment). The incidents that resulted in the indictment took place on May 31 and June 1, 2014. Indictment.

         With the exception of a case involving a Canadian citizen who fought extradition to the United States, Mr. Barnard’s case is the oldest criminal case on the court docket that has not been resolved by guilty plea or trial. In the course of the pretrial proceedings, the Court has granted motions to withdraw by four of the District of Maine’s most able criminal defense attorneys. Speedy Trial Order (ECF No. 44); Oral Order Granting Mot. to Withdraw (ECF Nos. 34, 125, 200). It has also granted eight motions to continue trial. Speedy Trial Order (ECF Nos. 65, 70, 77, 111, 119, 128, 146, 167).

         On March 1, 2016, the Court set the case for trial beginning June 7, 2016. Speedy Trial Order (ECF No. 167). On May 31, 2016, Mr. Barnard filed a notice of insanity and motion for psychiatric exam. Notice of Insanity under Rule 12.2(a) F.C.C.R., Mental Examination Notice of Intent (ECF No. 221) (Def.’s Mot.); Mot. for Psychiatric Exam (ECF No. 222). On June 1, 2016, the Government opposed Mr. Barnard’s motion. Gov’t’s Obj. to the Def.’s Notice of Insanity Defense and Req. for Psychiatric Evaluation (ECF No. 223) (Gov’t’s Opp’n).

         II. THE PRESENT MOTION

         A. Jeffrey Paul Barnard’s Motion

         Mr. Barnard moves for the Court “to order defendant to under[]go examination in accordance to 18 U.S.C. § 4242, to allow defendant to be examined, to determine the existence of insanity and[/]or defect at the time of the instant charge . . . ." Def.’s Mot. at 1. Mr. Barnard enclosed with the motion, inter alia, a letter to the Court in which he announces his intention to move for a pretrial conference “to discuss all the mitigating factors in my case" and in which he reiterates his desire to continue trial. Id. Attach. 1 Letter from Jeffrey P. Barnard to the Court (May 26, 2016) at 1 (ECF No. 211) (May 26 Letter).

         B. The Government’s Response

         The Government argues Mr. Barnard’s motion is untimely, as Rule 12.2(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure requires a defendant intending to assert an insanity defense to provide notice before the pretrial motion deadline, which it says was February 29, 2016. Gov’t’s Opp’n at 1-2. It cites United States v. Cartagena-Carrasquillo, 70 F.3d 706, 710 (1st Cir. 1995) for the proposition that “[c]ourts are well within their discretion in denying a defendant’s belated request to pursue an insanity defense." Id. at 2. According to the Government, Mr. Barnard’s pro se status does not provide good cause for his late notice. Id. (citing United States v. Dubrule, Nos. 14-6290, 14-6376, 2016 WL 2610255, at *13 (6th Cir. May 6, 2016)). Finally, it writes that “[t]he Court warned the defendant that this case would reach its end at the June 7, 2016, trial setting. The defendant’s attempt to disregard the warning should be denied." Id. at 3.

         III. DISCUSSION

         Rule 12.2(a) provides:

Notice of an Insanity Defense. A defendant who intends to assert a defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense must so notify an attorney for the government in writing within the time provided for filing a pretrial motion, or at any later time the court sets, and file a copy of the notice with the clerk. A defendant who fails to do so cannot rely on an insanity defense. The court may, for good cause, allow the ...

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