WA Legal Roundup: Division II
On appeal of his conviction for delivery of controlled substance, Lackey argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss his case for violations of speedy trial rights under CrR3.3. In Washington a defendant must be brought to trial 90 days after he is arraigned. Here, Lackey was not tried for 323 days after arraignment.
Lackey was released on bond. Lackey filed a motion of prejudice against the only judge in Jefferson County. His first attorney made a motion to withdraw which was denied on the first attempt but granted on the second. At that time the court told Lackey that his speedy trial was restarting yet made him sign a waiver nevertheless. The State moved for two continuances due to unavailable witnesses, which were granted. Lackey agreed to the second continuance and signed another speedy trial waiver. The third continuance in the case was made by Lackey’s attorney for additional preparation time and the court granted but treated it as a waiver of his speedy trial rights. After more delays due to the State, defendant, and court congestion, his trial finally began on March 24th.
The appeals court reviews de novo. The court went through each continuance requested and analyzed each delay. They found that each continuance met various criteria of CrR3.3 whether because of the waivers or the clock re-setting after a continuance was requested. Therefore, the court held that Lackey’s speedy trial rights were not violated.
The court also did an analysis under the state and US constitutional right to speedy trial. The court used the test created in Barker v. Wingo, wherein the court balances the conduct of the defendant and the state. The test also looks at factors such as length of the delay, the reasons for the delay, and prejudice to the defendant. There is presumed prejudice if the trial date is more than eight months after arraignment- so this factor was weighted in favor of Lackey, however, the court ultimately holds that Lackey’s constitutional right to a speedy trial were not violated because the other factors are not clearly in his favor. For example, the court points out that Mr. Lackey does not argue that the delay caused any prejudice or impairment to his defense. Moreover, the court mentions that 2 of the 3 state’s requests for continuance were because of a police officer’s illness- reasonable excuses to continue