SUBMITTED: October 27, 2017
After Competency Hearing - Defendant Remains Incompetent
Delaware Psychiatric Center is Ordered to Treat Defendant in
Order to Restore His Competency
Melanie C. Withers, Esquire, and John W. Donahue, IV,
Esquire, Deputy Attorneys General, Department of Justice,
A. Pedersen, Esquire, and Michael R. Abram, Esquire,
Attorneys for Defendant.
my decision after the most recent proceedings addressing the
competency of Ronald W. Williamson ("defendant" or
"Williamson") to stand trial. The State of
Delaware ("the State") has conceded that no
significant change in defendant's mental status has
occurred which would support a conclusion by this Court that
defendant now is competent to stand trial. Thus, this
Court's previous conclusion that defendant is incompetent
to stand trial stands. However, the recent proceedings did
establish that defendant has not been treated for his
Delusional Disorder despite this Court's previous
direction that such treatment be administered. Because
experts for both the State and defense outlined recognized
medical standards regarding treatment for the Delusional
Disorder from which defendant suffers, this decision includes
directions concerning that treatment.
26, 2011, Mark Anderson, Chief of Police, Greenwood,
Delaware, arrived at the scene of a dispute. The dash-cam on
the police vehicle, which was running when Chief Anderson
arrived, recorded a man later determined to be Williamson.
Williamson was holding a woman in a choke hold and had a hand
gun in his other hand. Chief Anderson got out of his car and
repeatedly ordered Williamson to drop his weapon. After a
slight struggle with his victim, Williamson pointed the gun
at her forehead and fired one shot. Williamson immediately
dropped the gun and ran into a neighboring residence where he
was arrested eight hours later after lengthy negotiations
with police officers.
victim, Connie Breeding, died as a result of a single gun
shot to the head. Defendant is charged with two counts of
Murder First Degree and numerous additional crimes related to
Connie Breeding's shooting death.
quickly developed a fixed belief that Dean Johnson, Esquire,
one of his previous defense attorneys, participated with the
State in altering the police videotape that depicted the
crime. The videotape is the central incriminating evidence
against him. Defendant's belief that a conspiracy exists
to convict him has expanded to include some psychiatrists and
the Court. He also has extended delusions, which include
alleged tampering with items besides the videotape, such as
audio transcripts and personal documents defendant had while
this Court found defendant competent to stand
trial. However, his then counsel sought a
reevaluation and a second competency hearing was held on
December 14, 2012.
for the State at this December 14, 2012 hearing were Andrew
W. Donahue, M.D. and Stephen Mechanick, M.D. Dr. Donahue, a
board-certified psychiatrist and a forensic psychiatrist,
diagnosed defendant with a Delusional Disorder, Unspecified
Type. He found defendant to be competent to stand trial.
Stephen Mechanick, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist,
found Williamson competent to stand trial. Dr. Mechanick
diagnosed Williamson with a Delusional Disorder, Persecutory
Type. Dr. Mechanick also concluded defendant was competent to
E. Rushing, M.D., J.D., a forensic psychiatrist, testified
for the defense at the first and second hearings. At the
first hearing, she did not find defendant competent for a
capital trial;however, she did not have as firm of an
opinion regarding his competency for standing trial on less
serious cases. At the second hearing, she found Williamson to
be incompetent for trial without any reservations. Her
opinion at the second hearing resulted from additional
information provided in her reevaluation and the fact that
Williamson was more enthralled in his delusions that a jury
would acquit him because of tampered evidence. Dr. Rushing
agreed with Dr. Mechanick's opinion that defendant's
belief about manufactured, tainted evidence is a delusion and
could be classified under the psychotic disorder labeled
decision of January 23, 2013,  this Court concluded as follows.
Williamson is not competent to stand trial. Defendant
genuinely holds delusions about falsified evidence and
systemic corruption. These are fixed false beliefs and are
not manipulative attempts to avoid a murder conviction. These
beliefs prevent him from cooperating and communicating with
his attorneys. Defense lawyers must provide the best defense
consistent with the client's direction. However, in this
case, the delusions would infect the process and the trial
would be a mockery of justice. The Court will not subject
defendant to trial where his psychotic disorder precludes a
meaningful defense because a fair trial cannot be had.
Court instructed that Williamson was to remain at Delaware
Psychiatric Center ("DPC") "where measures to
restore his competency shall be taken."
the Court did not appoint new counsel when it issued the
January 23, 2013 Decision, it ultimately did appoint other
attorneys to represent defendant.
2017, another competency hearing, extending over several
days, was held. The following was established.
the time between January 23, 2013, and May, 2017, DPC did not
undertake any measures to restore defendant's competency
other than to allow him to participate in some group
activities. Mustafa Mufti, M.D., the Clinical Director of
Forensic Services at DPC, testified that he did not see any
symptoms which would call for the administration of
psychotropic medications. However, by his admission, he never
discussed with defendant the facts of this case in
depth. The Court extrapolates from Dr.
Mufti's testimony that he never explored defendant's
delusions regarding the videotape and the conspiracy theories
he held. That would be why he never observed any psychosis.
Dr. Mufti diagnosed ...