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United States v. Roach

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
590 F.2d 181 (5th Cir. 1979)


Facts

Beacher Roach (defendant) was charged with robbing a bank. Brenda Jackson drove the getaway car during the robbery. The prosecution sought to call Jackson as a witness at Roach’s trial. However, Jackson had been emotionally troubled and used drugs in the months leading up to the trial. Approximately three months before trial, Jackson had received a psychiatric evaluation and been deemed competent to stand trial for her role in the robbery. Roach requested an additional competency hearing to determine whether Jackson was competent to testify as a witness. The district court conducted a preliminary hearing on Jackson’s competency. Although the judge did not ask any questions, Jackson was lucid and responsive to questions from both parties’ attorneys. The district court found Jackson competent to be a witness. Jackson testified at Roach’s trial, and the jury convicted Roach. Roach appealed, arguing that the determination of Jackson’s competency was inadequate. Roach claimed that a full psychiatric evaluation was necessary.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gee, J.)

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