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Attempted ‘hybrid’ defense delay didn’t violate speedy trial rule

December 18, 2012

A criminal defendant who filed motions on his own behalf and who also had consented to appointment of a special public defender was not denied a speedy trial when a delay of more than 70 days occurred, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Timothy Schepers brought an interlocutory appeal on the argument that a violation of Criminal Rule 4 had occurred in Timothy Schepers v. State of Indiana, 22A01-1201-CR-39.

Schepers was charged in May 2011 with several drug offenses and a Class C felony count of neglect of a dependent. After he dismissed his first public defender, a special public defender was appointed for Schepers. When Floyd Circuit Judge J. Terrence Cody set the trial date for Oct. 31, 2011, Schepers filed a pro se motion to dismiss the charges, claiming a violation of speedy-trial requirements. The trial court denied his motion.

“Schepers was still represented by counsel when he filed his pro se motions, and Schepers’s filing of those motions did not amount to a request to proceed with hybrid representation,” the Court of Appeals held in a unanimous nine-page order. “Additionally, Schepers’s subsequently-appointed counsel acquiesced to a trial date that was set beyond the seventy-day rule. For these reasons, we conclude that the trial court properly denied Schepers’s motion to dismiss. We therefore affirm and remand this cause for trial.”

The court cited the standard of Jenkins v. State, 809 N.E.2d 361, 367 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), holding that when counsel is appointed, a criminal defendant speaks to the court through his attorney. “Schepers did not clearly and unequivocally assert his right to self-representation. Therefore, the trial court properly denied Schepers’s motion to dismiss on this basis,” Judge John Baker wrote for the panel.
 





 
    

 

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