CASTRO v. STATE

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CASTRO v. STATE
1991 OK CR 79
814 P.2d 158
Case Number: PC-89-571
Decided: 07/16/1991
Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals

An Appeal From the District Court of Kay County; Neal Beekman, Associate District Judge.

John Walter Castro, Sr., Appellant, was convicted by jury of First Degree Murder and Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon in Case No. CRF-83-130. Subsequently Appellant filed an Application for Post-Conviction Relief which was denied by the Honorable Neal Beekman, Associate District Judge, and which is the subject of this appeal. The denial of Post-Conviction Relief is AFFIRMED.

Scott W. Braden, Asst. Appellate Public Defender, Norman, for petitioner.

Robert H. Henry, Atty. Gen., Wellon B. Poe, Asst. Gen., Oklahoma City, for respondent.

OPINION

LANE, Presiding Judge:

[814 P.2d 159]

¶1 John Walter Castro, Sr., Petitioner, is before the Court on an application for post-conviction relief. Petitioner was tried for the felony-murder of Rhonda Pappan, the manager of a fast-food restaurant in Ponca City called Hobo-T's, whom he stabbed to death in the course of robbing the restaurant. Petitioner was sentenced to death in Kay County District Court, Case No. CRF-83-130. This Court affirmed the death sentence in Castro v. State, 745 P.2d 394 (Okl.Cr. 1987), and denied the petition for rehearing in Castro v. State, 749 P.2d 1146 (Okl.Cr. 1988), cert. denied 485 U.S. 971, 108 S. Ct. 1248, 99 L. Ed. 2d 446 (1988). Petitioner is now asking this Court to review the validity of his conviction and sentence for the third time.

¶2 The petitioner raises nine propositions of error. Four (4) of these were raised on direct appeal or petition for rehearing

¶3 The petitioner does not cite any authority to support his argument that the district court loses jurisdiction of a criminal matter when a question as to a defendant's competency to stand trial is raised. The legislature has provided that when a question as to a defendant's present competency to stand trial is raised, the criminal proceedings shall be suspended pending the determination of the competency of the defendant. 22 O.S. 1981 § 1175.2 [22-1175.2](C) (emphasis added). As this Court recently explained in Kiser v. State, 782 P.2d 405 (Okl.Cr. 1989), the post-examination competency hearing provides the defendant with a procedural safeguard to ensure the due process requirement that he will stand trial only if he is competent to do so. As such it is designed solely for the benefit of the defendant and it may be waived.

¶4 We reject the petitioner's argument that the district court lost jurisdiction of his case when the post-examination competency hearing was not held, and we find the petitioner waived his arguments related to the post-examination competency hearing by failing to raise them on appeal. See Jones v. State, 704 P.2d 1138 (Okl.Cr. 1985); Cartwright v. State, 708 P.2d 592 (Okl.Cr. 1985).

¶5 The petitioner raises for the second time the argument that the Court of Criminal Appeals may not reweigh aggravating circumstances after invalidating one of the aggravating circumstances found by the jury. This argument has been rejected squarely by the Supreme Court in Clemons v. Mississippi, 494 U.S. 738, 110 S. Ct. 1441, 108 L. Ed. 2d 725 (1990). The petitioner based his argument on the fact that the Supreme Court had at the time he filed his brief granted certiorari in Clemons; the decision was handed down twelve (12) days after his brief was filed. Following Clemons we reject this argument.

¶6 We affirm the district court denial of the petitioner's application for post-conviction relief.

LUMPKIN, V.P.J., concurs in result.

BRETT and PARKS, JJ., concur.

JOHNSON, J., recuses.

Footnotes:

1 Propositions III (unconstitutional denial of funds for expert assistance and competent psychiatric expert), IV (death sentence must be vacated for jury improperly included unsupported aggravating factor "heinous, atrocious and cruel" in determining sentence), VI (reweighing of aggravating factors by Court of Criminal Appeals is unconstitutional), VII (trial court violated federal and state constitutions by ruling pre-sentence report prepared when petitioner had entered plea of guilty, which was later withdrawn, was inadmissible in the second stage of trial and petitioner sought to introduce it as mitigating evidence) were raised on appeal or on petition for rehearing.

2 Propositions I (district court lost jurisdiction by failing to conduct a post-examination competency hearing), II (petitioner was deprived of a fair trial by being tried without a determination of competency), VIII (prosecutor violated Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of federal constitution by telling jury they were not the sentencers of the petitioner), IX (district court violated Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of federal constitution by failing to instruct jury there exists a presumption of life in a capital case).

LUMPKIN, Vice Presiding Judge, concurring in results.

¶1 I concur in the results reached by the Court in this case. However, I disagree with the Court's analysis of the issue of determination of present competency pursuant to 22 O.S. 1981 § 1175.1 [22-1175.1] et seq. as the "defense of present sanity". Our jurisprudence recognizes a defense of insanity at the time the offense was committed, but not a defense of "present insanity". See Miller v. State, 751 P.2d 733 (Okl.Cr. 1988). The provisions of 22 O.S.Supp. 1983 § 1161 [22-1161], do address the procedure to be applied if a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity at the time of the commission of the crime charged. However, the issue raised by Petitioner in this case was the post-examination competency hearing required by Section 1175.4 to determine his competency at the time of trial to understand the nature of the charges and proceedings brought against him, and be able to effectively and rationally assist in his defense.