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United States v. Hollon

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

November 13, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
PAUL RANDALL HOLLON

For Paul Randall Hollon, Defendant: Federal Defender, Stephen P. Ganter, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Aylia McKee, Federal Defenders, Middle District of Alabama, Montgomery, AL; Brandon K. Essig, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Montgomery, AL.

For USA, Plaintiff: Brandon K. Essig, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Montgomery, AL; Gray M. Borden, LEAD ATTORNEY, MDAL U.S. Attorney's Office, Montgomery, AL; Stephen P. Ganter, LEAD ATTORNEY, Federal Defenders, Middle District of Alabama, Montgomery, AL.

OPINION

Myron H. Thompson, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

OPINION AND ORDER

Defendant Paul Randall Hollon is now before the court for sentencing for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). As part of this process, the government and Hollon have

Page 1380

filed a most intriguing joint motion, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4244, for a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether Hollon is suffering from a mental disease or defect that, while not rendering Hollon incompetent to stand trial or be sentenced, requires inpatient treatment in lieu of mere incarceration. [1] For the reasons that follow, this motion will be granted.

I.

In March 2012, Hollon was driving his Chevrolet Z71 truck on Highway 31 in Prattville, Alabama, following behind another car occupied by Tim Bowden and Jimmy Townsend. Concerned that Hollon was following him too closely, Bowden pulled into the parking lot of a roller rink and honked his horn. Hollon made a U-turn and barreled toward Bowden and Townsend. He parked his car, attempted to strike Bowden, and, after a struggle, wrested a 12-gauge pump shotgun from his trunk and fired it at Bowden's vehicle, striking Bowden's toolbox and injuring Bowden with the shrapnel. Hollon subsequently pled guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).

At sentencing, the court was made aware that Hollon has a history of acute mental illness. In particular, Hollon produced two mental-health examinations, each of which stated that Hollon suffers from bipolar disorder.

Hollon was evaluated in May 2011 by Dr. Shankar Yalamanchili. In that evaluation, Hollon reported that he had experienced " a high level of irritability, anger and a feeling of his mood swinging wildly ... on and off for the past 15 years." Def. Ex. (Doc. No. 34-1) at 18. Dr. Yalamanchili diagnosed Hollon with both bipolar disorder and polysubstance abuse.

Another evaluation was performed by Dr. David Ghostley in September 2012. Dr. Ghostley concluded that Hollon has " prominent bipolar mood fluctuation marked by frequent episodes of uncontrollable, explosive rage." Def. Ex. (Doc. No. 34-1) at 11. Dr. Ghostley also stated that Hollon has suffered severe emotional trauma, including his brother's suicide and physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father. Id. He found that Hollon's struggle with these issues had produced " maladaptive behaviors such as rage and self-medicating." Id.

At Hollon's sentencing hearing on October 15, 2012, in response to the evidence about Hollon's mental condition and the connection of that condition to the charged offense and while there was no basis to conclude the Hollon was not mentally competent now or at the time of the offense, " the court and counsel for both the government and ... Hollon brought up the possibility of hospitalization for ... Hollon pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4244," Order (No. Doc. 43), rather than his being sentenced and incarcerated solely pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The court therefore decided to hold another hearing " on whether ... Hollon sh[ould] be hospitalized pursuant to ... § 4244." Id. The court also required the parties to file briefs on the issue.

On November 2, 2012, the court held such a hearing. Instead of filing briefs the parties jointly asked the court to send Hollon to the Bureau of ...


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