from Lauderdale Circuit Court (CC-16-557)
Lynn Weeks was convicted of attempted first-degree assault,
see §§ 13A-4-2 and 13A-6-20, Ala. Code
1975, attempting to elude a law-enforcement officer,
see § 13A-10-52, Ala. Code 1975, and reckless
endangerment, see § 13A-6-24, Ala. Code 1975.
Weeks was sentenced, as a habitual offender, to 22 years'
imprisonment on the attempted-assault and attempting-to-elude
convictions. He was also sentenced to 12 months'
imprisonment on the reckless-endangerment conviction. The
Lauderdale Circuit Court ordered that those sentences were to
run concurrently with each other. Weeks was also ordered to
pay court costs, attorney fees, and a $150
and Procedural History
does not challenge the sufficiency of the State's
evidence. Thus, only a brief recitation of the facts
underlying his convictions is necessary. On February 17,
2016, Weeks was driving down Megan Drive in Lauderdale County
in a Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle when Alabama State
Trooper Jason Hewitt decided to pull him over after noticing
that there was no license plate on the vehicle. According to
State Trooper Hewitt, Weeks did not stop his vehicle. As
State Trooper Hewitt pursued Weeks's vehicle, several
other state troopers became involved in the pursuit. At one
point, state troopers attempted to "box in"
Weeks's vehicle. As they did so, Weeks re-entered the
roadway and struck State Trooper Joe McDonald's patrol
car. Following a second attempt to "box in"
Weeks's vehicle, Weeks, once again, struck State Trooper
McDonald's patrol car with his own vehicle. Weeks then
lost control of his vehicle and spun out. State troopers were
eventually able to "box in" Weeks's vehicle and
bring it to a complete stop. Following a short pursuit on
foot, Weeks was placed under arrest.
September 29, 2016, the Lauderdale County grand jury returned
a four-count indictment against Weeks. On October 26,
2016, Weeks was duly arraigned and entered pleas of not
guilty to all four charges.
October 31, 2016, Weeks filed a motion for a mental
evaluation to determine whether Weeks could assist in his own
defense. At the hearing on the motion for a mental
evaluation, the following exchange occurred:
"THE COURT: I had set this matter for a motion on
[defense counsel's] mental eval[uation]. He'd filed
it some time ago but I, you know, oftentimes it takes a while
to get medical records. Have you been successful?
"[Defense counsel]: Yes, Your Honor. I do have some
notes here from Riverbend mental health facility from several
years ago involving Mr. Weeks's traumatic brain injury.
If you will pay attention to Page 11 of 14 at the top. The
medical records indicate a psychosis as well as a--it's
kind of hard to read, Your Honor. Apparently it's a
doctor or nurse writing that. And pay attention to poor
impulse control, possible organic brain syndrome and several
other indicators for a mental disease or defect. We do
believe we've met our threshold about that.
"THE COURT: [Prosecutor], has the State had an
opportunity to evaluate the records?
"[Prosecutor]: I'm familiar with the case and
[Weeks] and as long as you feel like it meets the threshold,
we have no objection.
"THE COURT: All right. I think it does. I'll get
a mental evaluation. The motion is granted."
(Supp. R. 13-14 (emphasis added.))
January 25, 2017, the circuit court entered an order stating:
"This cause comes before the Court on [Weeks's]
Motion for Mental Evaluation, and after hearing the same this
date, the Court finds that the threshold has been met and
orders as follows:
"[Weeks] shall undergo an examination by a Certified
Forensic Examiner to conduct a clinical evaluation of
[Weeks's] competency to stand trial and mental state at
the time of the alleged offense.
"Further criminal proceedings against [Weeks] are hereby
stayed until such time as the Court receives a completed
report from the Certified Forensic Examiner."
February 21, 2017, the circuit court held a hearing at which
Weeks, who was represented by advisory counsel,
made an oral motion to withdraw his motion for a mental
evaluation. The record shows that counsel advised
against Weeks's withdrawal "based upon the evidence
that I've seen." (Second Supp. R. 5.) The circuit
court, however, granted the motion and permitted the
proceedings against Weeks to go forward.
March 6, 2017, Weeks's jury trial began. Weeks was found
guilty of attempted first-degree assault, see
§§ 13A-4-2 and 13A-6-20, Ala. Code 1975, of
attempting to elude a law-enforcement officer, see
§ 13A-10-52, Ala. Code 1975, and of reckless
endangerment, see § 13A-6-24, Ala. Code