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United States v. Moruzin

July 15, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
WAYNE MORUZIN, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Simandle, District Judge

OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

This Court previously found Defendant Wayne Moruzin to be suffering from a severe mental disease or defect that rendered him mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges of bank robbery and jury tampering. United States v. Moruzin, Cr. No. 05-306, 2006 WL 3000182 (D.N.J. Oct. 19, 2006). Since that time, he has remained in the custody of the Attorney General for hospitalization and treatment. On December 18, 2009, upon a joint motion of the United States and Mr. Moruzin indicating that Mr. Moruzin may have regained competency, the Court ordered a new competency evaluation. The evaluation having now been completed and a competency hearing held pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4241, the United States moves for an order finding Mr. Moruzin to be competent to stand trial [Docket Item 216]. Mr. Moruzin was initially opposed to a finding of competency prior to the submission of the most recent forensic report, but his latest position, represented in a letter from his counsel of May 12, 2010, is that he is competent to proceed [Docket Item 219]. For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that Mr. Moruzin has intentionally feigned many of his symptoms of incompetency, that he has admitted his contrivances to at least three mental health professionals during the course of this latest evaluation, that he has further lied to one prison psychologist in April, 2010 when he claimed he was recently faking his competency, and that he is indeed competent to stand trial on his pending criminal charges.

II. BACKGROUND

Mr. Moruzin faces charges of bank robbery and jury tampering [Docket Item 41]. The Court initially permitted him to proceed without counsel [Docket Item 40], but after he began to exhibit increasingly unusual and disruptive behavior, the Court determined that there was "reasonable cause to believe that the defendant may presently be suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent," under 18 U.S.C. § 4241(a). Consequently, the Court ordered an evaluation of Mr. Moruzin's competency and restored his appointed counsel, Mark W. Catanzaro, Esquire [Docket Items 76 and 81].

A. Campbell Report

The first competency evaluation was performed by Dr. Judith (Betsy) Campbell, Ph.D., a Bureau of Prisons forensic psychologist. Dr. Campbell examined Mr. Moruzin during June and July of 2006 at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. She reviewed Mr. Moruzin's medical history, performed some testing, and personally interviewed him. (Forensic Report of August 7, 2006 ("Campbell Report") Ex. G-2 in October 5, 2006 Hr'g., 1-2.) Dr. Campbell documented her findings in a forensic report, dated August 7, 2006.

Dr. Campbell's testing and experience with Mr. Moruzin led her to conclude that Mr. Moruzin was not competent to stand trial. The tests Dr. Campbell performed included the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - Second Edition. (Campbell Report 2.)

Dr. Campbell found that Mr. Moruzin's responses to the latter test were "extremely exaggerated and inconsistent... endorsing a wide variety of symptoms and attitudes," suggesting he is experiencing "severe psychological deterioration or psychosis." (Campbell Report 6.) Additionally, Mr. Moruzin's attitude toward Dr. Campbell and his counsel was irrationally distrustful and paranoid. (Campbell Report 8-9.) Because of Mr. Moruzin's refusal to fully cooperate with the evaluation, Dr. Campbell had only 2 to 2 1/2 hours to evaluate Mr. Moruzin in person, whereas Dr. Campbell generally spends between 8 and 10 hours on in-person evaluation. United States v. Moruzin, Cr. No. 05-306, 2006 WL 3000182, at *10 n.3 (D.N.J. Oct. 19, 2006).

Dr. Campbell diagnosed Mr. Moruzin with moderate Bipolar II disorder with psychotic features, polysubstance dependence, and Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified with narcissistic, paranoid, and antisocial features. (Campbell Report 7.) Her initial conclusion was that Mr. Moruzin could not understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him nor assist properly in his defense because of these conditions. (Campbell Report 10.)

The Court convened a competency hearing on October 5, 2006. Mr. Moruzin attended and declined to testify at the hearing. At the competency hearing, Dr. Campbell revised her conclusions somewhat, concluding that Mr. Moruzin was able to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings, but nonetheless remained incompetent because he was unable to assist properly in his defense, largely due to the irrational paranoia he exhibited toward his attorney. United States v. Moruzin, Cr. No. 05-306, 2006 WL 3000182, at *10 (D.N.J. Oct. 19, 2006).

Having reviewed the evidence, this Court found that Mr. Moruzin's paranoia and delusional thinking impaired his functioning so severely that he was unable to have a constructive dialog about the case or his defense, hampering his attorney-client relationship and also preventing him from adequately representing himself. Id. at 12. The Court based its conclusion on the testimony of Dr. Campbell, as well as the Court's own observation of Mr. Moruzin's extreme irritability, aggressiveness, delusional thinking, and extreme paranoia, including outbursts during hearings and belligerent communications to various individuals involved in the case. Id. at 11-12.

Accordingly, on October 19, 2006, this Court ordered that Mr. Moruzin be committed to the custody of the Attorney General for hospitalization and treatment in a suitable facility pursuant to 18 U.S.C. ยง 4241(d). [Docket Item 92.] Pursuant to the Court's Order, Mr. Moruzin was ...


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