United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton, United States District Judge
August 5, 2015, defendant Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho
(“defendant” or “Filho”) was indicted
on three counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1343. Pending before the Court is defendant's
competency to stand trial and the government's motion for
an evidentiary hearing with respect to the necessity of
July, 2016, defendant's retained attorney, David Howard,
filed a motion for a competency evaluation at the expense of
the government. That motion was denied unless defendant
submitted a financial affidavit demonstrating his indigence
or filed an agreement with the government to share the cost
of a proposed psychological evaluation by September 16. Filho
submitted a financial affidavit on September 15.
September 15, 2016, Filho filed a motion, pro se, to
remove his retained counsel and substitute new appointed
counsel. A week later, on September 22, 2016, this session
held a hearing on Filho's motion which the Court then
allowed. Subsequently, attorney Stephen G. Huggard,
defendant's current counsel, was appointed by the Court,
pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, 18 U.S.C.
status conference held in October, 2016, the parties agreed
that a competency hearing should be held. This Court
appointed Dr. Julia M. Reade, one of two agreed-upon
examiners, to conduct the evaluation. Dr. Reade conducted an
examination and promptly submitted her report in which she
concluded that defendant suffered from delusional disorder
and, as a result, he could not 1) ably assist counsel in his
defense or 2) make rational decisions with respect to his
case. The government responded with affidavits from Dr.
Russell George Vasile, the other agreed-upon evaluator, who
questioned Dr. Reade's conclusions.
in January, 2017, the government moved for a second
evaluation. This Court allowed that motion and directed that
defendant be placed in the custody of the United States
Attorney General to undergo a second competency evaluation.
That evaluation was conducted by forensic psychologist Dr.
Chad Tillbrook. Dr. Tillbrook, like Dr. Reade, concluded that
Filho suffers from delusional disorder which prevents him
from making rational decisions with respect to his case. In
light of that report, the government moved for an evidentiary
hearing to determine whether defendant should be
Defendant's Competency to Stand Trial
defendant may only be subjected to trial if 1) “he has
a sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with
a reasonable degree of rational understanding” and 2)
“he has a rational as well as factual understanding of
the proceedings against him.” Dusky v. United
States, 362 U.S. 402, 402 (1960) (per curiam).
determination is a “functional inquiry”.
United States v. Widi, 684 F.3d 216, 220 (1st Cir.
2012). The Court can consider the opinions of the defendant,
defendant's counsel and the evaluating doctors, as well
as its own observations of the defendant. Id. at
Court concludes that defendant is currently incompetent to
stand trial. Two compelling facts support such a conclusion:
the hearing, neither party objected to the prospective
finding that defendant is currently incompetent to stand
Drs. Reade and Tillbrook concluded that defendant suffers
from a delusional disorder and thus is ...