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Justices clarify previous decision on Criminal Rule 4(B)

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The Indiana Supreme Court clarified the ambiguity within its precedent on the issue of whether an incarcerated defendant has the right to be tried within 70 days under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(B) when the defendant is being held for an unrelated offense and not on the charges for which the speedy trial is demanded.

In Mickey Cundiff v. State of Indiana, No. 31S05-1108-CR-512, the state charged Cundiff on Dec. 21, 2009, with drunk driving offenses and he was released from incarceration after posting bond on Jan. 11, 2010. Shortly thereafter he was incarcerated on a probation-revocation case. On March 15, he filed a motion for speedy trial relating to the drunk driving case, relying on Criminal Rule 4(B). In July, the trial court held a hearing on the motion and denied it in August. He was found guilty of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated at the bench trial.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, although there has been a split in the panel on this issue. The justices used the Cundiff appeal to revisit its decision in Poore v. State, 685 N.E.2d 36 (Ind. 1997), in which the court held that Criminal Rule 4(B) applied to retrials of habitual-offender counts and so the defendant was entitled to discharge. Justice Steven David wrote that the opinion supports a holding that the rule applies only if a defendant is being held on the charge for which he requests a speedy trial. The ruling also supports a holding that as long as the defendant is in jail on the pending charge, Criminal Rule 4(B) applies to that charge, even if the defendant is also being held for another reason.

Poore did not extend the applicability of that rule to defendants who are not being held on the pending charge for which the speedy trial is requested but for a different reason altogether, he wrote. The confusion in what Poore held may have stemmed from the cases it relied on, David pointed out.

Criminal Rule 4(B) was not available to Cundiff on the pending charges for which he sought a speedy trial because he wasn’t incarcerated on those charges.

 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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