from the District Court of Stutsman County, Southeast
Judicial District, the Honorable Mark T. Blumer, Judge.
Frederick R. Fremgen, Stutsman County State's Attorney,
Jamestown, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.
Costa Kraus-Parr, Grand Forks, ND, for defendant and
1] Walter Grant, Jr. appeals from a criminal judgment entered
after he pled guilty to gross sexual imposition, burglary,
aggravated assault, and terrorizing. He argues the district
court committed obvious error by failing to determine whether
he was competent to proceed. We affirm.
2] In August 2016 Grant was charged with gross sexual
imposition, burglary, aggravated assault, terrorizing, and
felonious restraint. At Grant's initial district court
appearance he was uncooperative, he said he was not going to
listen to the judge, and he put his fingers in his ears. The
hearing was ended as a result of Grant's behavior. The
hearing was later completed at the jail.
3] The State moved for a forensic psychological examination
to determine whether Grant suffered from a mental disease or
defect and whether he lacked substantial capacity to
comprehend the harmful nature or consequences of his conduct
for the offenses. The State also requested determination
whether Grant had capacity to understand the proceedings
against him and to assist in his defense. The district court
granted the State's motion and ordered a psychological
4] In October 2016 Grant's attorney informed the court
Grant refused to meet with him and twice refused to meet with
the forensic examiner. The State moved for an order
transporting Grant to the State Hospital to be examined
through observation for thirty days. The court granted the
State's motion and ordered Grant be transported to the
State Hospital for the examination.
5] On October 26, 2016 Grant's attorney moved to
withdraw, stating Grant wanted to terminate the
attorney-client relationship. After a hearing, at which Grant
refused to appear, the court granted the attorney's
motion in a December 5, 2016 order.
6] On December 1, 2016 the evaluation report was filed. The
examiner concluded with a reasonable degree of psychological
certainty that Grant was competent to proceed and no reason
existed to believe Grant lacked the capacity to understand
the proceedings against him or to assist in his defense. The
examiner found Grant likely was trying to delay the legal
process or raise grounds through which he might gain some
benefit, and it seemed likely Grant would make the legal
proceedings against him as difficult as possible for his
attorney and the court.
7] On December 13, 2016 a new attorney was assigned to
represent Grant. In January 2017 the attorney moved to
withdraw, claiming Grant refused contact with him and created
a situation in which the attorney could no longer represent
him. In February 2017 the district court granted the
attorney's motion. Another attorney was assigned to
represent Grant. In July 2017 Grant's third attorney
moved to withdraw. The district court denied the motion,
stating Grant's actions with each of his attorneys made
it difficult for the attorneys to work with him and his lack
of cooperation with his third attorney did not warrant
delaying trial or allowing withdrawal.
8] The State and Grant reached a plea agreement. Grant pled
guilty to gross sexual imposition, burglary, aggravated
assault, and terrorizing. The felonious restraint ...