Deemed Incompetent to Stand Trial, Man Removed from Court for Interrupting Judge

By Gabriel Eskandari

WOODLAND, CA. – In Yolo County Superior Court last Friday, Judge David Rosenberg ordered Joshua McClain, a man deemed incompetent to stand trial, to be removed from the courtroom because he was interrupting the judge while attempting to explain his grievances regarding his case.

McClain was facing a felony controlled substance charge and a misdemeanor contempt of court charge, both dating back to July 19, 2020. However, because he was deemed incompetent to stand trial, the criminal proceedings were suspended. 

McClain was previously placed in Placer County’s Jail-Based Competency Treatment Program, and he has more recently been waiting to be picked up by the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) where he was remanded to serve time.

Deputy Public Defender Joseph Gocke, representing McClain, began the court proceedings by expressing grievances that his client had. 

“Mr. McClain is on for review, the Department of State Hospitals is picking him up. As usual, they have not,” PD Gocke stated.

Further, PD Gocke said his client believed that his right to a speedy trial had been violated, that one of his prior convictions was unfounded, that there is evidence of his innocence in the current case, and that he objected to going through two separate incompetent to stand trial proceedings in the same case.

PD Gocke then let McClain inform the court directly, who echoed these statements.

“I request that my case be dismissed due to the fact that I am 100 percent innocent, and my right to a speedy trial has been violated,” McClain said. 

McClain also stated that he was wrongly charged with a felony rather than a misdemeanor for a previous criminal threat charge.

Judge Rosenberg then began to speak, but McClain said he had one more thing to say, and Judge Rosenberg let him continue.

Regarding the current case, McClain stated that he was given a temporary restraining order from Feb. 27, 2020, until July 18, 2020, but was arrested on July 19, 2020. Therefore, he claims that the restraining order had expired at the time of the arrest. 

“They’re saying I had 1.2 crystal meth on me, but I didn’t. And if I did have crystal meth on me, it should be excluded because of the illegal arrest,” McClain argued.

At this point, Judge Rosenberg interrupted, saying, “The issues you are raising can be raised in a habeas corpus petition. All we are doing right now is reviewing to wait for the Department of State Hospitals to pick you up.”

McClain then began to interrupt Judge Rosenberg, arguing that by law he should not be labeled as incompetent twice, and began to say, “Objection, your Honor.”

“Remove him from the courtroom because he continues to interrupt the court,” Judge Rosenberg ordered.

As the bailiffs approached him, McClain said, “I want you to remove me by excessive force so it could be another lawsuit.”

As the bailiffs and McClain argued back and forth, Judge Rosenberg stepped out of the courtroom and into his chambers. After a few more moments, the bailiffs removed McClain. The court then regrouped.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Bulkeley asked, “We don’t seem to be able to get DSH’s attention on this, so can we have a minute order ordering someone from DSH be present via Zoom at the next court date to address placement?”

Judge Rosenberg said he’d rather have a written order, and asked DDA Bulkeley to prepare it. He and PD Gocke agreed to consult one another on it.

In response to a visibly frustrated courtroom, Judge Rosenberg stated, “Gentlemen, I’m with you. I want to do everything that we can in our power to get him placed and get him in a better place.”

This matter will resume Oct. 29 at 9 a.m.

About The Author

Gabriel is a recent graduate of UC Davis. He majored in Political Science.

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