By Emma Kantor
WOODLAND, CA – Questions regarding the competency of Joshua McClain arose in Yolo County Superior Court Friday, and why he has not yet been admitted to the Department of State Hospitals after already being found incompetent to stand trial.
McClain was in court, facing felony charges of bringing drugs into a prison.
State Hospital representative Brandon Finn informed the court that McClain has an estimated date of admission to Napa State Hospital in late March.
Deputy Public Defender Joseph Gocke revealed that McClain was supposed to be placed around Jan. 6 as was indicated by the Department of State Hospitals in December 2021.
However, at the January date when Gocke and his client appeared in court, the Department of State Hospitals had suspended admissions from Jan. 3 to Feb 3.
While Gocke said he understood the suspension situation that arose as a result of COVID-19, he finds it “unacceptable from our position” that McClain is seemingly very far down the list for placement in March.
PD Gocke argued that, given where they were previously, McClain should be an individual of priority in the admittance procedure.
Judge David Rosenberg agreed that McClain needs help and asked Deputy Attorney General for the Department of State Hospitals, Grant Lien, why McClain has slipped so far down the list.
It appeared, from what the court was told, there had been a confusion regarding what the last commitment date was which thus determines his placement date.
Lien indicated that McClain had been recommitted to DSH on Sept. 2, 2021, and that this date determines his status on their waitlist for admission.
Deputy District Attorney Chris Bulkeley told the court that McClain was returned as competent last summer and the court held a hearing that found he had not been restored to competency.
“The original commitment date should be in effect because he was never restored to competency and the second commitment order of September is an error and should be undone,” Bulkeley added.
Judge Rosenberg said that “he’s clearly mentally ill and he needs to be placed sooner rather than later” and set the case to be heard again this next week because the judge was “more interested in the factual situation why we got moved.”