PEOPLE OF MI V JACK CALVIN MCDONNELLAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
Jackson Circuit Court
LC No. 95-74346 FH
JACK CALVIN McDONNELL,
Before: Sawyer, P.J., and Kelly and Doctoroff, JJ.
KELLY, J. (dissenting).
I respectfully dissent.
First, I would remand for an evidentiary hearing on defendant’s claim of ineffective assistance of
counsel because it does not appear from the record that trial counsel adequately investigated or
presented a proper defense. For instance, apparently defense counsel failed to request an independent
psychiatric examination. Such an oversight may well have deprived defendant of a substantial defense,
People v Hoyt, 185 Mich App 531, 537-538; 462 NW2d 793 (1990); People v Julian, 171 Mich
App 153, 158-159; 429 NW2d 615 (1988), because it appears obvious that defendant was mentally ill
at the time he committed the instant offense.
When the crimes were committed defendant was in the psychiatric unit of the Duane Waters
prison hospital, in four point restraints with a twenty-four-hour guard. One arm was released from
restraints so that he could write the letters in question. A guard stood over defendant as he wrote the
letters to prevent him from stabbing himself with a pencil. Historically, defendant had been hospitalized
on over a hundred prior occasions for self-mutilation and had a history of mental illness dating back to
Given defendant’s obvious mental illness, defendant’s investigation and presentation of an
insanity defense might well have made a difference in the outcome at trial. People v Kelly, 186 Mich
App 524, 526; 465 NW2d 569 (1990). In my opinion, there is enough merit in defendant’s claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel to warrant an evidentiary hearing.
Additionally, I believe the trial court reversibly erred in refusing to give a guilty but mentally ill
jury instruction. Although Dr. Wightman testified that defendant was not mentally ill, there was clearly
evidence on the record, such as is set forth above, including defendant’s own testimony, to indicate that
defendant was mentally ill at the time he committed the instant offense. Where there is evidence, as in
this case, to support a defense instruction, the trial court is obliged to so instruct. People v Caulley,
197 Mich App 177, 184; 494 NW2d 853 (1992). The trial court’s failure to do so in this case was
I would reverse; but, at a minimum, I believe that this matter should be remanded for an
evidentiary hearing on defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.
/s/ Michael J. Kelly