Man’s Mental Health Evaluation Postponed Because of Defective Jail Phone – His Attorney Calls It ‘Shocking and Infuriating’


By Casey Rawlings


SANTA BARBARA, CA – David Howard Heaven appeared in Santa Barbara County Superior Court late last week for a review of the results of a mental competency evaluation after being charged with two misdemeanors.


Heaven was arrested in early July of this year after being charged with misdemeanor battery and exhibit of a deadly weapon. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.


After a week of incarceration, a mental health consideration was declared by Judge Von Deroian, and a psychological evaluation was set to be performed by Dr. Angelo as well as Dr. Yakush.


Later that month, when Dr. Angelo attempted to perform a psychological evaluation, there wasno available working phone, which prevented him from interviewing Heaven.


Heaven’s attorney, Lauren Gartrell, recounted the situation, describing “Dr. Angelo was denied access to Mr. Heaven because when he went to the jail the phone didn’t work – which I find shocking and infuriating- and they didn’t just move him to the main jail.”


Dr. Yakush was finally able to meet with Heaven, and concluded that he was competent to stand trial.


However, Heaven’s attorney disagreed, noting “I disagree with Dr. Yakush because I believe Heaven is IST (incompetent to stand trial).”


She then asked the court to order another report from Dr. Angelo.


Judge Deroian proceeded to order that Dr. Angelo meet with Heaven, and scheduled a return date for Aug. 12. She further ordered that the county jail allow Dr. Angelo to meet with Heaven.


Due to penal code 1368, which requires the suspension of all proceedings in criminal prosecution until the court has ordered a hearing into the competency of the defendant, the criminal proceeding was suspended.


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