from the St. Joseph Superior Court The Honorable John M.
Marnocha, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 71D02-1504-F5-54
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Scott H. Duerring South Bend, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Jesse R. Drum Supervising Deputy Attorney General
of the Case
Charles Edward Luster appeals the trial court's
revocation of his placement in community corrections. Luster
raises one issue for our review, which we revise and restate
as whether the trial court violated his due process rights
when it declined to consider evidence of his lack of
competency prior to the hearing on the State's motion to
revoke his placement.
We reverse and remand for further proceedings.
and Procedural History
In November 2015, Luster pleaded guilty to robbery, as a
Level 5 felony. The trial court entered judgment of
conviction and sentenced Luster to six years, with three
years executed, three years suspended, and one year of
probation. On July 12, 2018, the State filed a petition to
revoke Luster's probation. At a hearing, Luster admitted
to the allegations, and the trial court revoked Luster's
placement on probation and ordered him to serve three years
in community corrections.
On September 25, James Thompson, a security officer at
Luster's facility, was informed that Luster was acting
erratically and talking to himself. Officer Thompson then
reviewed footage from the facility's security cameras.
While watching the footage, Officer Thompson observed Luster
engage in inappropriate sexual conduct in the laundry room,
which was against the rules of the facility. The State then
filed a petition to revoke Luster's placement in
community corrections due to his inappropriate conduct.
On October 1, the court appointed two medical experts to
evaluate Luster's competency because the court
"ha[d] reason to believe that [Luster] may lack a
present ability to understand the proceedings and assist in
the preparation of [his] defense[.]" Appellant's
App. Vol. II at 111. Thereafter, two medical experts
evaluated Luster. Dr. Evert VanderStoep found that Luster
"understands his legal situation correctly."
Id. at 119. However, Dr. VanderStoep found that
Luster "has been psychotic for as long as he can
remember." Id. Dr. VanderStoep reviewed two
previous psychiatric evaluations, which both indicated that
Luster suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Dr. VanderStoep
opined that, if Luster continued to take the proper
medications, it would be "possible for him to manage the
structure" at the community corrections facility.
Id. at 120.
Dr. Warren Sibilla, Jr. also conducted a competency
evaluation of Luster. Dr. Sibilla concluded that Luster's
symptoms were consistent with bipolar affective disorder,
substance abuse disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
With respect to Luster's competency, Dr. Sibilla
concluded that Luster "does not demonstrate the capacity
to stand trial for the charges in this legal matter."
Id. at 130 (emphasis removed).
The trial court held a hearing on the State's petition to
revoke Luster's placement in community corrections.
However, while the court acknowledged at the beginning of the
hearing that it had ordered a competency evaluation, the
court nonetheless concluded that "the statute concerning
competency [Indiana Code Section 35-36-3-1] contemplates [a]
prejudgment [assessment] and of course this is post-judgment
by a long shot." Tr. at 2. As such, the trial court did
not consider the competency evaluations but proceeded with
At the conclusion of the hearing, the court found that Luster
had violated the conditions of his placement. Accordingly,
the court revoked Luster's placement in community
corrections and ordered him to serve the remaining three