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Time spent in federal custody does not interfere with right to speedy trial

August 9, 2013
A defendant’s repeated incarcerations in other jurisdictions did not interfere with his right to a speedy trial in Indiana.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of Eddie Spalding’s motion to dismiss and discharge in Eddie Spalding v. State of Indiana, 49A04-1210-CR-534. It found Criminal Rule 4(C) did not apply because Spalding was not in the exclusive control of Indiana.

Spalding was arrested on March 7, 2011, and charged with Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. He subsequently missed several court appearances because he was being held in federal custody.

On June 18, 2012, Spalding filed a motion alleging that nearly 400 days had passed since his arrest and all of that delay was attributed to the state. After the trial court denied his motion, he argued in his appeal the time limit for trying him had passed.

The Court of Appeals noted the issue is a question of law which it reviewed de novo.

Spalding cited Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) which prohibits an individual from being held on a criminal charge for more than a year. The state countered that Criminal Rule 4(C) does not apply because the time Spalding was in a foreign jurisdiction does not count in Indiana.

The COA noted Sweeney v. State, 704 N.E.2d 86, 95 (Ind. 1998) provided that Criminal Rule 4(C) is applicable to defendants in foreign jurisdictions who are brought to Indiana under a writ habeas corpus ad prosequendum or other form of temporary custody. However, in Spalding’s case, Indiana did not have exclusive control so the “Sweeney exception” was not triggered.
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