A judge ordered for a man who was accused of home invasion and a man who was accused of stalking to be deemed incompetent to stand trial, with further competency reviews planned for next year.
On Friday morning, retired St. Mary’s District Judge John F. Slade III ordered for Darren Matthew Bivens, 32, who was accused earlier this month of sending a series of disturbing text messages to a Massachusetts woman for a period of 15 years, to be committed to the Maryland Department of Health pending another competency review next year.
An evaluation by Dr. Theresa Grant of the state health department found Bivens is not competent to stand trial, and a supplemental form stated that he “presents a danger to himself and others,” according to the judge.
“We don’t concede that he would be a danger,” Edie Fortuna, a public defender standing in at the competency review, said.
“Based on the forensic opinion of Dr. Grant, it is my opinion that Mr. Bivens does not have a rational understanding of the proceedings against him,” Slade said, ordering for Bivens to be committed to the care and custody of the health department, and scheduling a second competency review in February.
“We’re going to order that this case be re-evaluated periodically as per the statute,” Slade said. Maryland’s criminal procedure stipulates that defendants deemed incompetent and dangerous be re-evaluated by the court until they are determined to be competent, or are found to not become competent in the foreseeable future.
In another matter, Leonard William Morehead, 49, who was accused earlier this month of entering a residence and holding two kitchen-style knives above a woman’s head, was also found to be incompetent to stand trial, and was found to be a danger to himself and others. He was also committed to the care and custody of the health department pending a second review.
Also on Friday morning, lawyers were presented a letter from Grant which stated that more time was needed to evaluate Taunese Williams, 19, of Great Mills who was accused earlier this month of raping two underage boys. Her next competency review was scheduled for December.