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R. Allen Stanford Found Competent to Stand Trial
Judge David Hittner, a U.S. District Judge, reversed a ruling that was handed down back in January that said Sanford was not healthy enough to face a trial. He had undergone an evaluation for eight months at a medical prison center in North Carolina. To overturn the ruling, he also underwent a hearing for his competency, which began on Tuesday, according to Law360.
“Based upon the exhibits and testimony admitted at the hearing, the court determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Stanford has recovered to such an extent that he is able to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him and to assist properly in his defense,” Judge Hittner wrote.
On Thursday, a federal judge from Texas released a ruling that R. Allen Stanford is competent enough to face a trial. The charges filed against Stanford stem from an allegation that he helped put together a Ponzi scheme that ran for quite some time. The Ponzi scheme acquired over $7 billion from investors.
Sanford is being represented by Robert A. Scardino, from Scardino & Fazel LLP. Scardino explained that continuance motion of the trial has been filed and is still in the pending process.
The schedule start date for Sanford’s trial is January 23, 2012.
Stanford was originally ruled that he could not stand trial back in January following an attack while in jail in 2009 gave him an injury to his brain. Stanford was experiencing symptoms of amnesia and had been on prescription medications to aid in his recovery. Stanford was then transferred to the Bureau of Prisons Medical Center in North Carolina by the order of Judge Hittner.
“We’re waiting to see what he’ll do in that regard,” Scardino said.
Expert witnesses scheduled to testify on the behalf of Stanford claim that he is still exhibiting symptoms from the injury he suffered in September of 2009. Along with the amnesia, it has been reported that Stanford was originally left without the ability to communicate.
The staff at the medical center declared Stanford fit to stand trial in November. The memorandum was filed by Kenneth Magidson, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas.
Prosecutors claim that their experts say Stanford is faking the conditions he supposedly acquired during the attack in jail.
Stanford used to be the chairman of the Stanford Financial Group Co., based in Houston, Texas. He has been charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, obstruction and conspiracy charges. Stanford issued a not guilty plea to all 14 of those charges in June of 2009. Stanford used to be one of the wealthiest men in the Houston area.
“The constitutional right to be present at one’s own trial exists at any stage of the criminal proceeding that is critical to its outcome if the defendant’s presence would contribute to the fairness of the procedure,” Stanford’s lawyers said in a previous motion.
Information also researched from The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.R. Allen Stanford Found Competent to Stand Trial by Jim Vassallo