Martinez v. Commonwealth (P)

Determination of competency to stand trial is part of a purely criminal process, and the appeal from such determination is criminal in nature. Therefore, the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to consider this direct appeal.

Following the appellant’s indictment for two counts of capital murder, the circuit court concluded that he lacked the capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his own defense. He is deaf and mute. After seven years of in-patient treatment, the court denied the appellant’s motion to dismiss the indictments, finding that he remained incompetent to stand trial, that his continued treatment was medically appropriate, and that he presents a danger to himself and others. Review of the court’s decisions in this regard lies first with the Court of Appeals, not the Supreme Court.

Because there has been no final conviction in the circuit court, transfer to the Court of Appeals is not appropriate.

Appeal dismissed.

Martinez v. Commonwealth (P), No. 180179, Dec. 6, 2018. SCV (per curiam) from Williamsburg/James City.

Categories: Opinions, Published, Supreme Court of Virginia

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