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State v. Gerrier

Supreme Court of Maine

December 6, 2018

STATE OF MAINE
v.
TRAVIS R. GERRIER

          Reargued: October 25, 2018

          Argued: July 18, 2018

          Harold J. Hainke, Esq. (orally), Hainke & Tash, Whitefield, for appellant Travis R. Gerrier.

          Maeghan Maloney, District Attorney, and Kristin Murray-James, Asst. Dist. Atty. (orally), Prosecutorial District IV, Augusta; and Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, and Leanne Robbin, Asst. Atty. Gen. (orally), Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee State of Maine.

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          HUMPHREY, J.

         [¶1] Travis R. Gerrier appeals from a judgment of conviction of gross sexual assault (Class A), 17-A M.R.S. § 253(1)(C) (2017), unlawful sexual contact (Class B), 17-A M.R.S. § 255-A(1)(E-1) (2017), and furnishing liquor to a minor (Class D), 28-A M.R.S. § 2081(1)(A)(1) (2017), entered by the court (Kennebec County, Mullen, J.) after conditional guilty pleas. Gerrier primarily challenges the court's determination that he was competent to stand trial.[1] We affirm the judgment.

         I. BACKGROUND

         [¶2] The following facts are drawn from the docket entries and the court's findings set out in its competency order, which are supported by the record, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State. See State v. Gurney, 2012 ME 14, ¶ 2, 36 A.3d 893.

         [¶3] On June 12, 2015, Gerrier was charged by complaint with (1) gross sexual assault (Class A), 17-A M.R.S. § 253(1)(C); (2) unlawful sexual contact (Class B), 17-A M.RS. § 255-A(1)(E-1); and (3) furnishing liquor to a minor (Class D), 28-A M.R.S. § 2081(1)(A)(1). He was arrested that day and released on bail with conditions. Gerrier was indicted on those charges on September 23, 2016.[2]

         [¶4] Gerrier has had a long history of mental health issues and treatment, and has limited cognitive and intellectual abilities. At Gerrier's request, a competency evaluation was conducted in October 2016. During the pendency of this case, Gerrier also underwent psychological, psychosexual, and neuropsychological evaluations. A competency hearing was held on December 5, 2016, and on December 14, the court (Mullen, J.) issued an order in which it determined that Gerrier was competent to stand trial.

         [¶5] Gerrier ultimately entered conditional guilty pleas on all three charges, preserving his right to appeal from the order finding him to be competent and the order denying his motion to suppress. See supra n.1. The court (Marden, J.) sentenced Gerrier to a term of seven years for the gross sexual assault charge followed by twenty years of supervised release with conditions, and concurrent terms of five years for the unlawful sexual contact charge and 364 days for the charge of furnishing liquor to a minor. Gerrier timely appealed. See M.R.App. P. 2B(b)(1).

         II. DISCUSSION

         [¶6] Gerrier argues that the court (Mullen, J.) erred when it determined that he was competent to stand trial. Before addressing Gerrier's arguments, we take this opportunity to clarify Maine law regarding the burden of proof and ...


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