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Justices vacate transfer to Criminal Rule 4(B) appeal

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The Indiana Supreme Court has decided that a Court of Appeals decision reversing the denial of man’s motion for discharge will stand.

The justices released an order Tuesday saying that the high court has vacated its grant of transfer to Corey Fletcher v. State of Indiana, No. 79S02-1204-CR-208. They held oral arguments on the case June 1.

Corey Fletcher appealed the denial of his motion to discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(B). He was charged Oct. 28, 2009, with various drug offenses and scheduled to go to trial May 11, 2010. In early March 2011, Fletcher filed a pro se motion for a fast and speedy trial – the same day a new public defender was appointed. That attorney filed an appearance for three days after the pro se motion was filed.

The majority on the Court of Appeals disagreed with the holding in Jenkins v. State, 809 N.E.2d 361 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), to the extent that it implies that the appointment of counsel and not the appearance of counsel is the relevant time period for determining whether a defendant may file a pro se motion for a speedy trial. Judge Ezra Friedlander dissented, believing that since counsel had been appointed before Fletcher filed his early trial motion, the court wasn’t required to accept it for filing or grant it.

The Court of Appeals opinion, which previously had been vacated once the justices accepted transfer, has been reinstated as Court of Appeals precedent.

Justice Mark Massa dissented, believing Fletcher's rights weren't violated so his conviction should be affirmed.



 

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