Tuesday, April 17, 2012

KY SC March 22 - Smith- Speedy Trial


2011-SC-144-MR, March 22, 2012, Affirming in Part, Reversing and Remanding in part. 

First-degree robbery, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and PFO II - 30 years.  Opinion contains an extensive speedy trial analysis.  Even though the Commonwealth had all the evidence in hand, and waited eight months for no good reason prior to requesting DNA testing, the trial court properly granted Commonwealth’s motion for a continuance in order to perform DNA testing.  Smith’s speedy trial rights were not violated –long story short--due to his own actions in failing to show up for multiple court appearances.  Although he failed to show because he was incarcerated elsewhere, he should have informed his attorney, who could have attempted to secure his presence.  Eyewitness testimony was sufficient to defeat a motion for directed verdict. Trial court’s imposition of court costs remanded for findings, as set out in Maynes v. Commonwealth, Case No. 2010-SC-000681-DG. Language of the restitution order was specific and was enforceable.

PRACTICE TIP:  If you have a client detained elsewhere, make efforts to obtain his presence at court appearances, or prepare to forfeit any speedy trial claim.

Contributed by Susan Balliet