United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division
JEFFREY L. VIKEN CHIEF JUDGE
States Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann filed a report and
recommendation (“R&R”) and an order
temporarily detaining the defendant Amy Garcia pending
resolution of the R&R. (Dockets 52 & 53). In the
report, the magistrate judge recommends the court order a
competency evaluation of the defendant Amy Garcia pursuant to
18 U.S.C. § 4241. (Docket 53 at p. 3). Defendant filed
an objection to both the temporary detention order and the
R&R. (Docket 54). The government takes no position on
either the R&R or defendant's objection. (Docket 55).
For the reasons stated below, the defendant's objection
to the R&R and her objection to the temporary detention
order are overruled.
26, 2016, a grand jury issued a two-count indictment against
the defendant. (Docket 1). The indictment charged Ms. Garcia
in count I with larceny in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 661 & 1153 and in count II with theft of
government property in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641.
Id. Following several continuances, on April 7,
2017, the defendant entered into a plea agreement with the
government. (Dockets 35-37). That same day, the court
referred the case to Magistrate Judge Wollmann for purposes
of receiving defendant's plea and issuing a report and
recommendation. (Docket 38). The magistrate judge scheduled a
change of plea hearing for May 5, 2017. During the change of
plea hearing, defense counsel advised the magistrate judge
that Ms. Garcia's conduct was the result being prescribed
a new pain medication but she failed to take the medication
so she could appear for the hearing. (Docket 39). The
magistrate judge rescheduled the hearing for May 12, 2017.
Id. On that date, the magistrate judge placed Ms.
Garcia under oath and based on her answers to questions
posed, continued the hearing to a later date. (Docket 41).
The R&R indicates that upon hearing about the narcotic
drugs prescribed to Ms. Garcia and the magistrate judge's
“personal observations of and interaction with the
defendant, ” the magistrate judge determined
“that defendant was not [of] a state of mind whereby
the court could conclude that Ms. Garcia was making a knowing
and informed decision to plead guilty.” (Docket 53 at
change of plea hearing on October 6, 2017, the magistrate
judge was advised by Ms. Garcia “that she had not
recently taken any pain medication. However, [Ms. Garcia]
advised that she was in extreme pain, given the fact that she
hadn't taken any pain medication.” Id.
Based on those statements, the magistrate judge concluded
“Ms. Garcia was not in a state of mind whereby the
court could accept a plea of guilty.” Id. at
pp. 2-3. The hearing was continued to a later date. (Docket
18, 2018, the government filed an ex parte motion to revoke
Ms. Garcia's pretrial release. (Docket 44). The
government asserted that the basis for the motion was the
allegation Ms. Garcia was “being charged in tribal
court with trespassing and possession and ingestion of
narcotics. . . . [and] is currently being detained in the
Kyle Jail.” Id. Magistrate Judge Wollmann
issued an ex parte order directing that an arrest warrant
issue. (Docket 45).
Garcia was arrested on July 26, 2018. (Docket 49). On July
27, 2018, the magistrate judge held an initial appearance on
the government's motion to revoke bond. (Docket 47).
Defense counsel requested an evidentiary hearing.
Id. The magistrate judge ordered Ms. Garcia detained
pending the hearing. Id.; see also Docket
August 3, 2018, the magistrate judge held an evidentiary
hearing. (Docket 50). Following the presentation of evidence,
the magistrate judge denied the government's motion to
revoke the defendant's pretrial release. Id.;
see also Docket 51. At the same time, the magistrate
judge entered an order for temporary detention pending
resolution of the R&R. (Docket 52).
addition to the information described above, the R&R
included the following concerns:
At the evidentiary hearing, credible testimony was presented
that law enforcement responded to a residence where Ms.
Garcia was found unresponsive. Medical personnel administered
three doses of Narcan to revive Ms. Garcia, suggestive that
Ms. Garcia had consumed excessive amounts of narcotics. Law
enforcement observed 9 pills remaining in a prescription pill
bottle for Oxycodone which was prescribed 6 days earlier
containing an initial quantity of 84 pills, suggesting that
75 pills were consumed during 6 days. . . . The evidence
presented on August 3, 2018, is consistent with other
information contained within the record that demonstrates
“reasonable cause to believe that the defendant may be
presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering
her mentally incompetent to the extent that she is unable to
understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings
against her to assist properly in her defense.”
(Docket 53 at pp. 1-2) (citing 18 U.S.C. § 4241). Based
on the magistrate judge's multiple interactions with Ms.
Garcia, “the record concerning the multiple rescheduled
hearings, and the evidence presented at the bond revocation
hearing, the [magistrate judge] recommends that an order for
competency evaluation be entered pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
4241.” Id. at p. 3.
the Federal Magistrate Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), if a
party files written objections to the magistrate judge's
proposed findings and recommendations, the district court is
required to “make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.”
Id. The court may “accept, reject, or modify,
in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by
the magistrate judge.” ...