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Name: People v. Koontz
Case #: S036450
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/09/2002
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 7/12/02

In this automatic appeal, appellant contended that his conviction was obtained in violation of his right to due process because he was not competent to stand trial and the trial court did not hold a hearing, pursuant to section 1368 on the issue of his competency. Appellant represented himself, and the record reflected “incoherent ramblings,” an irrational defense of self-defense based on a nonexistent knife, and numerous witnesses who were either not helpful or damaging to the defense. The Court here affirmed. The record did not show that appellant lacked an understanding of the nature of the proceedings or an ability to assist in his defense. Further, prior to appellant’s exercise of the right to self-representation, his counsel never raised any question concerning competency.