Gene Hand appeals his convictions of first degree escape and
unlawful possession of a controlled substance. The trial
court initially found Hand incompetent to stand trial and
ordered that Hand be committed to Western State Hospital
(WSH) within 15 days for treatment to restore his competency.
However, Hand remained in jail for 61 days after the
court's deadline before being admitted to WSH. He then
received restorative treatment and eventually regained
competency. He subsequently was convicted of both charges in
a bench trial on stipulated facts.
argues that (1) the excessive time he spent in jail waiting
to receive restorative treatment violated his substantive due
process rights, (2) the violation of his substantive due
process rights constituted government misconduct that
required the trial court to dismiss the charges against him
under CrR 8.3(b), and (3) the violation of his substantive
due process rights required the trial court to dismiss the
charges against him even apart from CrR 8.3(b). Hand also
submitted a statement of additional grounds (SAG) alleging
ineffective assistance of counsel.
that although WSH's delay in admitting Hand for
competency restoration treatment violated his substantive due
process rights, dismissal was not required under CrR 8.3(b)
because Hand cannot show that the delay in receiving
restorative treatment prejudiced his right to a fair trial,
and dismissal was not required for the due process violation
apart from CrR 8.3(b). We also hold that Hand's SAG
claims are too vague to consider.
we affirm the trial court's denial of Hand's motion
to dismiss, and we affirm his convictions.
September 2014, the State charged Hand with first degree
escape. Hand was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant on
October 1. At the time of his booking, police found a baggie
of methamphetamine in his waistband. The State then charged
Hand with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
trial court set Hand's bail at $30, 000 for the first
degree escape charge and at $20, 000 for the unlawful
possession of a controlled substance charge. Hand did not
post bail and therefore remained confined in the county jail.
December 11, defense counsel requested a competency
evaluation for Hand under RCW 10.77.060. The trial court
granted the request and ordered that Hand be held in custody
without bail pending the competency determination.
evaluation report dated December 18 concluded that Hand's
symptoms interfered with his ability to communicate with his
attorney and meaningfully assist in preparing his defense.
Based on this report, the trial court on December 24 entered
an order that Hand be committed to WSH for a maximum of 45
days to undergo evaluation and treatment to restore
competency to proceed to trial. The order included
instructions that "Western State Hospital shall admit
Mr. Hand within 15 days of this order per Trueblood v.
DSHS." Clerk's Papers (CP) at 32.
drafted a letter to the trial court dated January 19, 2015,
11 days after the court's commitment deadline. He pointed
out that he was still in jail despite the deadline and
suggested that his charges should be dismissed because of a
due process violation or that the case be transferred to
mental health court.
February 11, 34 days after the trial court's commitment
deadline, Hand filed a motion to dismiss based on the
violation of his substantive due process rights. The motion
also sought, in the alternative, an order for WSH to show
cause why it should not be held in contempt of the trial
court's order. The court denied the motion to dismiss
without prejudice. But the court ordered a show cause hearing
for WSH to appear and show cause why it should not be held in
opposition to Hand's motion for contempt sanctions, WSH
submitted a lengthy declaration from Dr. Barry Ward, the
psychology services supervisor at WSH. Ward stated that when
WSH received the trial court's commitment order, Hand was
placed on a waiting list for admission because WSH did not
have the ability to admit him for restorative treatment. He
further stated that the unit handling restoration treatment
services had been operating at near 100 percent occupancy for
several years, and the current waiting list had approximately
113 defendants. The average waiting time for 45-day
restoration cases was 71 days. Ward emphasized that the delay
for forensic admissions was due to factors beyond WSH's
control, including a significant increase in orders for
inpatient evaluation or restoration and a decrease in the
number of available beds.
February 18, Hand filed a new motion to dismiss that was
substantially similar to his previous motion. And on February
25, Hand filed another motion to dismiss or in the
alternative to release him from custody. That motion was
substantially similar to his February 18 motion to dismiss,
but added an alternative request that the trial court
consider releasing Hand from custody so he could obtain his
show cause hearing on February 25, the trial court found the
Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in contempt of
the court's December 24, 2014 order, imposed sanctions of
$500 per day starting on February 26 to be paid to the county
jail, and ordered that Hand be transported to WSH by February
26. Hand was not transferred to WSH by February 26.
March 4, the trial court heard arguments on the February 25
motion to dismiss or alternatively to release from custody.
The court ruled that there was no due process violation and
denied the motion to dismiss or to release from custody.
finally admitted Hand on March 10, 61 days after the 15-day
deadline in the trial court's original commitment order.
The trial court subsequently ordered DSHS to pay the county
jail $6, 000 in sanctions ($500 per day for 12 days) for the
delay in admitting Hand to WSH following the court's
February 25 contempt order.
submitted a forensic mental health report regarding Hand to
the trial court on April 28. The report stated that Hand was
able to understand the nature of the proceedings against him
and could assist in his defense with a reasonable degree of
rational understanding. On April 29, the trial court found
Hand competent to stand trial.
November 20, a bench trial was held on stipulated facts. The
trial court found Hand guilty of first degree escape and
unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
appeals his convictions.
Commitment for Competency ...