State v. Narcise
To prevail on a defense of not guilty as a result of mental disease or defect, a defendant must prove: 1.) he suffers from a mental disease or defect that was not caused by consuming a drug; and 2.) he lacks substantial capacity to comprehend the wrongfulness of or to control his conduct. On Dec. 22, 2011, the defendant, Marvin Narcise, allegedly tackled a 77-year-old woman, whose head struck the concrete. Narcise allegedly attempted to stab her with the broken-off stem of a wine glass and stomped and kicked her. Passersby fought with Narcise, who broke loose and ran back to stomp and kick the woman. The state proved attempt to murder, because the defendant repeatedly stabbed the woman with a wine glass stem and kicked and stomped her, as she lay helpless. The state also proved first-degree assault. "The glass stem," wrote the court, "was used in a fashion such that it qualifies as a dangerous instrument and, in fact, caused [the woman] to suffer serious physical injury." Narcise argued that he suffered from a mental disease or defect. The defendant likely suffers from schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder. Although evidence existed that he previously used drugs and PCP, drug tests on Oct. 12, 2011 were negative, and he denied taking drugs before the attack. The defendant continued to exhibit signs of mental illness when he lacked access to drugs, because he was incarcerated. Before the attack, he allegedly heard hallucinations that were belittling, because he lacked money for Christmas presents. Recently, he had been asked to leave his mother's house. "[It] is the completely bizarre, unprovoked and vicious nature of the attack," wrote the court, "that are probably the strongest indicators that it was committed by one with a very diseased mind." The defendant proved he suffered from a mental disease or defect and lacked substantial capacity to comprehend the wrongfulness of or to control his conduct. The court found the defendant not guilty, as a result of mental disease or defect, and ordered his commitment to the custody of the commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services.