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White v. Willett

Supreme Court of Kentucky

April 2, 2015

REGINA D. WHITE, APPELLANT
v.
HON. BARRY WILLETT, JUDGE, JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT, APPELLEE AND DOMINIQUE GRIER AND COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST

Released for Publication April 23, 2015.

ON APPEAL FROM COURT OF APPEALS. CASE NO. 2014-CA-000824. JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT NO. 12-CR-03891.

FOR APPELLANT: Daniel T. Goyette, James David Niehaus, Office of the Louisville Metro Public Defender.

FOR APPELLEE: Hon. Barry Willett Judge, Jefferson Circuit Court.

FOR DOMINIQUE GRIER, REAL PARTY IN INTEREST: Wayne McKinley Adams, Jr.

FOR COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, REAL PARTY IN INTEREST: Leland Taylor Hulbert, Jr., Dorislee J. Gilbert.

Page 811

OPINION

CUNNINGHAM, JUSTICE

REVERSING AND REMANDING

On December 20, 2012, the Jefferson County grand jury indicted Appellant Regina D. White and Dominique Grier, aka " Pac Man," a real party in interest, with murder, first-degree burglary, first degree robbery, and tampering with physical evidence. All charges were premised on a complicity theory. On September 16, 2013, Appellant pled guilty to robbery, burglary, and tampering with physical evidence in exchange for a recommended sentence of ten years' imprisonment. Pursuant to that agreement, Appellant agreed to testify truthfully and cooperate in the prosecution of Grier. During the plea colloquy, Appellant testified that she had been treated for various mental illnesses and drug addictions. She identified one

Page 812

provider as Seven Counties Services (" Seven Counties" ). No competency examination was ordered. The court accepted her plea and immediately sentenced her in accord with that agreement.

On September 17, 2013, co-defendant Grier filed a motion for an in camera review of Appellant's psychotherapy records from all previous mental health providers. The prosecutor and Greir's attorneys were present at a hearing on that motion. No one appeared on behalf of Appellant. Grier argued that Appellant's mental health records were relevant as to the Appellant's credibility. The trial court expressed reservation concerning its authority to issue such a broad order.

Only two specific institutions had ever been identified as possibly having exculpatory records--Seven Counties and Phoenix Health Services (" Phoenix" ).[1] Nevertheless, in an order entered on ...


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