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A mortgage fraud trial is set to start after a federal judge ordered a Miami criminal defense attorney to be evaluated by a psychologist after failing to show up for the original trial date. U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn in Fort Lauderdale ordered the evaluation by Michael P. Brannon on Friday for attorney Michael D. Walsh and noted Walsh was a patient at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami.
Brannon was ordered to report “his findings, including whether Mr. Walsh is competent and capable of providing effective assistance of counsel in a 10-week criminal trial of his client, Joseph Guaracino,” according to Cohn’s order.
Guarancino is a former Planation police officer who was indicted in an alleged straw buyer mortgage scheme.
In court Monday, he said he was aware of the situation and wanted to keep Walsh as his attorney.
Walsh disappeared for several days last week after he was charged with misdemeanor battery against his estranged wife.

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