Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Monday, August 11, 2014

DISTRICT JUDGE FINDS RICHARD CHICHAKLI COMPETENT

After receiving the detailed reports of two medical professionals, who were tasked with evaluating Richard Chichakli, the judge in his case has ruled that he is competent. The Court found that he was "intelligent and articulate" during his trial, and that "Indeed, for a non-lawyer, Chichakli showed a laudable ability to question witnesses, prepare and argue motions, and present his theory of the case to the jury*."

The defendant's recently appointed counsel had requested a determination of competency, stating that he was concerned about Chichakli's mental health, after he sought to again represent himself Pro Se, shortly after the attorney's appointment, and due to statements he made to his counsel.

You may recall that Chichakli acted Pro Se at his trial, after he discharged the first counsel appointed by the Court. The judge has reserved ruling upon the defendant's most recent demand to represent himself, pending the resolution of the competency issue. The case should now, belatedly, move forward; unresolved post-trial motions, including for a new trial, must be ruled upon, and finally, sentencing must occur.

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*Memorandum and Order, at 6.

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