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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case March 5th

In USA v. Carol Woodard (SD Ind., McKinney), a 16-page opinion, Judge Williams writes:

Defendant Carol Woodard, the managing director of a non‐profit organization, was indicted on one count of health care fraud for collecting $8.9 million from Medicaid based on her submissions of phony healthcare claims. As the first trial date approached, Woodard filed the first of many motions to change counsel. After the district court appointed a third attorney, it sua sponte ordered Woodard to undergo a competency examination because it felt that she might not understand the nature of the proceedings against her. After a doctor concluded that Woodard was competent to stand trial because she knew and understood the charges against her and was able to assist in her defense, the court found Woodard legally competent to stand trial. Nearly two years later, after several more delays and new attorneys, Woodard asked for a second competency evaluation, which the court denied. Woodard pled guilty and was sentenced to 80 months’ imprisonment.

On appeal, Woodard argues that the district court abused its discretion by not ordering a second competency evaluation. Because the district court reached a reasonable conclusion after it reviewed a previous psychological evaluation, considered the advice of two mental health professionals, and considered Woodard’s interactions with her attorney, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion. In addition, although Woodard argues that she did not knowingly and voluntarily plead guilty during her Rule 11 colloquy, a review of the record shows that she did and that no red flags were raised that would alert the court to the contrary. Finally, we agree with her last argument that the district court violated the Ex Post Facto Clause at sentencing by sentencing her under the wrong version of the Sentencing Guidelines. Therefore, we remand this case for resentencing, but affirm the district court’s judgment in all other respects.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 6, 2014 01:40 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions