submitted: November 27, 2017
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AS TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
Christina Kontis, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware
Department of Justice, Attorney for the State.
Turner, Esquire, Office of Defense Services, Attorney for
before the Court is a motion filed by Defendant, Valencio
Hinton, to dismiss the charges against him. Hinton alleges
that the State's failure to restore him to competency and
bring him to trial within a reasonable period of time after
his arrest has violated his rights to due process and a
speedy trial. The State has filed a response denying
this. Because a motion to dismiss is case
dispositive I am issuing my decision in the form of a Report
reasons that follow, it is my recommendation that
Hinton's Motion be GRANTED and the charges against him be
and Procedural History
was first arrested on August 19, 2015, for the crimes of
Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Stun gun,
Loitering and Failure to Answer a Summons (two
counts). Hinton was released on unsecured bail.
Hinton was subsequently arrested on September 3, 2015, and
charged with Theft over $1, 500 and Theft of a Motor Vehicle
for crimes that allegedly occurred on August 18,
2015. Hinton was released on $3, 650.00 secured
bail on September 14, 2015, and has remained out on bond
since that time. Both cases were indicted on October 12,
January 8, 2016, Counsel for Hinton filed a request in case
1508014324 to have the final case review and trial continued
because "more time is needed to assess [Hinton's]
competency." The request was granted by the Court the
same day. A similar request was granted in case 1508019137 on
February 18, 2016. Both cases were again continued on March
31, 2016, at Defendant's request. On April 26, 2016, the
State requested a continuance of case 1508019137 because the
police officer was unavailable on the trial date. That
request was granted on May 4, 2016, On May 12, 2016, a
Defense Psycho-Forensic Evaluation was filed by
Defendant. In the detailed 12 page report, Dr. Much
opined that Hinton was not competent to stand trial due to
his chronic severe psychiatric illness with psychotic
symptoms. Dr. Much recommended that Hinton continue to take
medication and attend outpatient treatment and counseling.
Dr. Much did not foreclose the possibility that Hinton could
be restored to competency at a future date. The State did not
challenge Dr. Much's findings and conclusions.
7, 2016, an office conference was held before Judge
Carpenter. It is unclear from the docket exactly what
transpired at the office conference. However, the State
subsequently filed a Motion for Revocation of Bail as to both
cases on July 11, 2016. Defendant filed a response in
opposition on July 21, 2016. The State's motion was
referred to Judge Carpenter but was passed on August 1, 2016.
The docket indicates that "defense counsel to update
court with a plan to restore the defendant's competency.
Scheduled for August 16, 2016 at 9 am before Judge Carpenter
on his VOP calendar." There is no indication in the docket as
to what, if anything, occurred during the VOP hearing on
August 16, 2016.
inexplicable reasons, a new trial scheduling order was then
issued for both cases on November 22, 2016. On November 28,
2016, at final case review, the trial dates of both cases
were continued and both cases placed on the Mental Health
Problem Calendar, per Judge Carpenter. On July 20, 2017,
defense counsel again asked for a continuance because Hinton
was due to be re-evaluated the second week of July.
September 13, 2017, Defendant filed an Updated
Psycho-Forensic Evaluation for Competency
report. This report, also by Dr. Much, concluded
that Hinton was still not competent to stand trial due to a
major psychotic disorder- Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar
Type. The report goes on to state that:'
[I]t is highly unlikely even with continued treatment that
[Hinton] will ever acquire the requisite knowledge and
judgment to meet the minimal standard for legal competence.
[Hinton] continues to have ongoing psychiatric symptoms that
will prevent him from ever becoming competent. He will
require medication and psychotherapy to limit the likelihood
of further decompensation and deterioration in functioning
that could result in a possible risk of harm to himself or
updated report was referred to the undersigned Commissioner
on September 19, 2017. To date, the State has not sought a