On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 08-03-0447.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges A. A. Rodriguez and Reisner.
Defendant Linly Antoine appeals from the May 20, 2010 Krol*fn1 order committing him to the custody of the Department of Human Services pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:4-8, following a bench trial at which defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI). We affirm.
Defendant was charged with five counts of third-degree terroristic threats, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3a; and one count of fourth-degree retaliation for past official action, N.J.S.A. 2C:27-5. These charges stem from the undisputed allegations that he left voicemail messages for a Superior Court judge and four court employees threatening to kill them. On October 26, 2007, defendant left a series of threatening telephone messages on the answering machines of Judge Lois Lipton, the Bergen County Criminal Case Manager, and three probation officers. One of the probation officers recognized defendant's voice because defendant's wife had been on probation.
Because it appeared that defendant's fitness to stand trial was questionable, the court ordered a psychiatric evaluation. Susie Chung, Ph.D., BCBA, conducted the court-ordered evaluation. Dr. Chung recommended inpatient hospitalization to allow a period of observation to assess competence and to facilitate psychiatric stabilization.
Defendant was committed to the Ann Klein Forensic Center for a competency evaluation. Benito Marty, M.D., a clinical psychiatrist at Ann Klein, prepared a report regarding defendant. In his report, Dr. Marty described the threatening telephone messages left by defendant.
[Defendant] left five threatening voicemail messages to the Bergen County Superior Court Judge, probation offices and the criminal division manager of the Bergen County Justice Ctr. The messages included referring to himself as the "Lord" and referring to God and "robbing God" and made threatening statements including "you better believe I will kill you and I will destroy you."
Dr. Marty opined that defendant was competent to stand trial, and was not a danger to himself or others. However, he was suffering from delusional disorder, such that he did not know the difference between right and wrong and was insane at the time of the offenses.
The State's expert, Azariah Eshkenazi, M.D., agreed that defendant was insane at the time of the offenses and was not a danger to himself or others. He opined that defendant never actually intended to kill anyone. Rather, defendant believed that he was the son of God and an architect, building the New Jerusalem. Defendant's delusions were fixed false beliefs that would not be responsive to medication. Dr. Eshkenazi opined that defendant should be found not guilty by reason of insanity and there should be no further court reviews.
Defense counsel served notice of the intent to rely on the defense of insanity, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:4-1. Judge Marilyn C. Clark conducted a bench trial in October 2009, and found defendant not guilty by reason of insanity. The judge did not commit defendant, but released him on the condition that he remain in New Jersey until the next court date on November 12, 2009. The judge also ordered that he undergo another psychiatric evaluation.
However, defendant did not appear for the psychiatric evaluation or the court date. A warrant was issued for his arrest. In January 2010, defendant was arrested on the warrant in North Carolina and was extradited to New Jersey. Judge Clark ordered a new psychiatric evaluation and remanded defendant to the Passaic County jail pending the next court date.
On May 13, 2010, Judge Clark conducted a Krol hearing. During the hearing she considered the second evaluation conducted by Dr. Eshkenazi. In his April 26, 2010 report, he concluded that defendant required inpatient ...