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Name: People v. Smith
Case #: F039752
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/11/2003
Subsequent History: None

Three days after the start of appellant’s court trial for first degree murder of his wife, appellant was found incompetent to stand trial, causing a suspension of the criminal proceedings, which resumed later after competency had been restored. On appeal, appellant argued that his waiver of jury was not competently made, as his incompetency predated the suspension of criminal proceedings. The appellate court here affirmed. There is nothing in the record which suggests that appellant’s mental status had deteriorated prior to the jury waiver, and nothing in the record of the waiver which suggests that appellant did not understand the questions asked or explanations given. The record establishes a knowing and intelligent waiver. Further, appellant contended that the trial court erred in resuming the trial after competency was restored, instead of declaring a mistrial. The appellate court disagreed, finding no legal impediment to the trial court’s decision to resume the trial. When proceedings resumed, no contention was made that appellant had not been able to participate in the earlier proceedings, and the record reflects no showing of incompetence. Therefore, the trial court did not err in resuming the proceedings.