UPDATE: Racine man ordered to have competency hearing

Romelo Harris competency hearing
Romelo Harris

UPDATE AUG. 8: A competency hearing has been ordered for Romelo Harris by Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch at his attorney’s request.

Wendy Paul, Remelo’s attorney, filed the request in Racine County Court on Wednesday saying she believed the evaluation was necessary after speaking to Harris.

Rudebusch honored the request. The hearing has been set for 1:30 p.m. August 27.

“Competency refers to whether a court can adjudicate the specific case” based on a person’s mental capacity, according to WisBar.org.

The hearing will look at Harris’ mental capacity to understand the proceeding or assist in his own defense.

Under state statute:

“No person who lacks substantial mental capacity to understand the
proceeding or assist in his or her own defense may be tried, convicted, or sentenced for the commission of an offense so long as the incapacity endures.”

ORIGINAL STORY: A report of a man trying to enter a Mount Pleasant bar with a gun Saturday led to a number of criminal charges filed Monday in Racine County Circuit Court against a 22-year-old Racine man.

Romelo D. Harris faces felony charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of marijuana, along with misdemeanor charges of obstructing an officer and resisting an officer; all as a repeat offender.

The firearm charge carries a fine of $25,000 and 10 years in prison, while the marijuana charge carries a fine of $10,000 and three years, six months in prison. The two misdemeanors could result in a total fine of $20,000 and 18 months in county jail. 

Harris, who made his initial appearance Monday, faces an additional eight years in prison and an additional four years in jail because he’s charged as a repeat offender. 

According to the criminal complaint:

Mount Pleasant police were dispatched to the On the Level Bar, 2139 Racine St., where they spoke with a man who said he was attending a family gathering when the defendant tried to enter carrying a gun. After he was denied entry, he left in a white SUV and parked around the corner.

When the officer tried to make contact with the defendant, he ran. Police were eventually able to take him into custody and recovered the defendant’s jacket and a duffel bag that he had dropped during the pursuit. Police found a loaded firearm and individually packaged units of marijuana that weighed 43.3 grams inside the bag. Harris told police he kept the gun, which was later determined to be stolen, for protection. The marijuana, he told police, was for his personal use.

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