State v. GrossAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reaffirmed and applied the holding in State v. Perkins, 811 P.2d 1142 (Kan. 1991), which held that Kan. Stat. Ann. 22-3302 does not mandate that a defendant be present when the discussion concerns whether to hold a competency hearing.
During the first day of Defendant’s trial, his attorney spoke with the trial judge and the prosecutor about the attorney’s concerns regarding Defendant’s mental state. Defendant’s attorney did not explicitly ask for a competency examination or a competency hearing. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court violated section 22-3302 by holding a chambers conference to discuss concerns about his mental state. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the holding in Perkins applies in this case; and (2) the ambiguous language of section 22-3302(7) does not support Defendant’s interpretation that he had a right to be present during the in-chambers discussion about his mental state on the first day of trial.