Defendant Outburst – Declares Mental Competency, Threatens to Sue Judge

 

By Christopher Datu and Alexander Ramirez

SACRAMENTO, CA – There were some fireworks here this week when defendant Jose Torres was in court on a relatively routine matter—discussion of a recommendation regarding his competency to stand trial in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Although his time in court was short, Torres had a lot to say about his case. And the judge.

Torres was recommended to be placed on medication by the Self Advocacy for Conditional Release Program, or CONREP, as it was noted in court the defendant was deemed incompetent by the reports.

CONREP is a conditional release program that determines whether a convicted individual will continue to receive treatment at a state hospital or whether they can receive treatment within the community.

Since November of 2020, Torres has had multiple arraignments, bail reviews and settlement conferences. He has also had a doctor appointed to him on December 2020 and was deemed incompetent once before the incident in April of 2021.

The underlying charges include a felony resisting a sworn police officer and a misdemeanor charge of attempting to evade a police officer by way of a motor vehicle.

Torres and his attorney originally had a probable cause hearing on May 12, but waived the hearing and confirmed Tuesday’s hearing about the CONREP report.

However, neither the defense attorney nor the district attorney have received that report. Judge Joseph Orr apparently had the report and began to read it.

When going through the case history, Judge Orr recognized he was the one who originally declared Torres incompetent.

Defendant Torres abruptly declared, “I am very competent, I have always got honor roll in middle school, high school, and college. I have been filing complaints with the Attorney General.”

At this point, the public defender began trying to quiet Torres, who began brandishing a maxi pad through the cell bars as he urgently stated, “I have maxi pads here, I am being persecuted in jail, I have maxi pads, I am in an all-male jail.”

Torres finished by asserting, “I am very competent.”

Judge Orr reviewed the record and simply stated, “I order that the antipsychotic medications are indicated and may be administered.”

Torres interrupted forcefully, saying, “That is illegal sir. My dream was to be a doctor, and there is no reasonable cause.” He reiterated that he had been filing complaints with the Attorney General’s Office and that he had endured excessive force caught on video.

He then claimed, “I am not mentally ill.”

Judge Orr responded, stating, “That is good to hear Mr. Torres. However, the recommendation from the doctors is that you get some further help and that will be the order.”

Torres yelled, “What provider is that sir, for the record?” Then having to repeat the question as Judge Orr remained silent. The judge then looked to the public defender and asked, “Counsel?”

The public defender responded, “I believe he is going to be trained at an in-patient department state hospital and I am prepared to submit on that recommendation.”

Torres again shouted, “This is illegal!” and Judge Orr simply stated, “This is the order.”

Torres angrily tossed a maxi pad from the cell as he claimed he had been sexually assaulted and that there was video evidence.

Judge Orr replied, “Calm down Mr. Torres, they’re going to do their best to help you.”

As Torres continued to cut him off, trying to show him the maxi pad, Judge Orr looked to the bailiff and asked for the next defendant. Torres then curtly asked, “Next court date?” to which Judge Orr stated that they would let the court know.

Before exiting the courtroom, Torres exclaimed, “This is all very illegal. I am very competent and not mentally ill.” Judge Orr cut him off again, asking for the next case.

Torres pointed to the judge and swore he would “[s]ue the f***k out of you. I’m going to sue the f***k out of all you motherf******s.”

No future appearances in court have been set and Torres is scheduled to enter into the in-patient CONREP recommendation.

Christopher Datu is a 4th year Political Science major at UC Davis. He is originally from Corona, California.

Alexander Ramirez is a third-year Political Science major at the University of California, Davis. He hopes to hone his writing skills in preparation for the inevitable time of graduation.


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