The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he was insane when he charged at, bit and spit at officers while he was in jail, but that his behavior was a result of his drug withdrawal.
Jason Bloomfield was in Allen County jail on criminal charges when he told a nurse about his prior drug use. He had a history of taking four to five Xanax pills and smoking Spice on a daily basis, which he did the day before he was booked into jail. While incarcerated, he became progressively worse and exhibited bizarre behaviors. Jail officials took him to the hospital, but he was returned the next day. His behavior did not make it safe for him to be let out of his cell.
Five days after his last drug use, and four days after being in jail, when a sheriff’s deputy opened the door to Bloomfield’s cell, Bloomfield rushed out naked and began running at the officer. Two other deputies responded and Bloomfield tried to bite one, grabbed another’s testicles and was eventually handcuffed and restrained. While the officers were strapping Bloomfield to a chair, he kept trying to bite them and spit in one deputy’s face.
The state charged Bloomfield with two counts of Level 5 felony battery of a public safety official resulting in bodily injury and one count of Level 6 felony battery of a public safety official. Bloomfield argued that he was temporarily insane at the time, so the trial court appointed three doctors to examine him and determine his competency. All three determined he was competent to stand trial. The doctors noted his behavior was consistent with drug withdrawal from Xanax and Spice. Bloomfield was convicted and sentenced to seven years in the Department of Correction and 18 months suspended to probation.
In Jason L. Bloomfield v. State of Indiana, 02A05-1601-CR-112, he argues there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s rejection of his insanity defense. He maintained that the expert evidence is without conflict and leads only to the conclusion that he suffers from a mental disease or defect that rendered him unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct at the time of the offenses.
But the Court of Appeals disagreed with his characterization of the doctors’ testimonies. That Bloomfield was previously prescribed a drug that may be used for psychosis does not support his case because that drug is also used for impulse control and the record doesn’t say why he was prescribed the drug. In addition, one doctor testified that Bloomfield’s ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions was diminished at the time of the offenses, and to prevail on an insanity defense, the defendant must prove he was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct, Judge Terry Crone wrote.
The judges also rejected Bloomfield’s claim that his conduct was the result of “mental degeneration” caused by his long-term abuse of Xanax and Spice, and that the jury had sufficient evidence to reject his argument that his conduct was the result of a mental disease or defect.