FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 508-659,
SECTION "0" Honorable Tracey Flemings-Davillier,
Cannizzaro, District Attorney Donna Andrieu, Assistant
District Attorney Irena Zajickova, Assistant District
Attorney ORLEANS PARISH COUNSEL FOR STATE OF
Watters LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge Sandra Cabrina
Jenkins, Judge Dale N. Atkins
CABRINA JENKINS JUDGE
State appeals the trial court's June 25, 2018 ruling
granting defendant's motion to quash the indictment based
upon a violation of defendant's right to a speedy trial.
The State argues that defendant failed to show that either
the statutory time limitations for commencing trial had
expired or that his constitutional right to speedy trial had
been violated. Based on our review of the record of this case
and in light of the applicable law and jurisprudence, we find
merit in the State's arguments. Thus, finding that the
trial court abused its discretion in granting defendant's
motion to quash the indictment for a violation of his right
to a speedy trial, we reverse the trial court's ruling,
reinstate the indictment, and remand for further proceedings.
record of this case reflects the following procedural history
relevant to our subsequent discussion of the statutory time
limitations for commencing trial, pursuant to La. C.Cr.P.
art. 578, and the factors for determining a constitutional
violation of defendant's right to a speedy trial, as set
forth in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S.Ct.
2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972).
September 15, 2011, the grand jury for Orleans Parish
returned an indictment charging defendant, Rudolph Joseph,
with one count of aggravated rape, two counts of forcible
rape, and three counts of second degree kidnapping,
violations of La. R.S. 14:42, 14:42.1, and 14:44.1,
respectively. Defendant was charged "at
large," and an alias capias was issued for his
November 2, 2011, defendant appeared for arraignment
unrepresented by counsel. After the trial court determined
defendant's indigency and appointed counsel, the
arraignment proceeded and defendant entered a plea of not
guilty. On that same date, defense counsel filed an omnibus
motion to suppress statements, evidence, and identification,
and for discovery and inspection.
the date of defendant's arraignment and filing of
pre-trial motions, on November 2, 2011, until a hearing was
finally held on those motions, on March 9, 2017, proceedings
in this case were reset forty-two times. On thirty-four dates
set for hearing on motions, the record indicates that
defendant was in the custody of the Department of Corrections
and the State failed to secure defendant's transportation
to court. In addition, the State was granted nine
continuances; the defense was granted seven continuances; and
four joint continuances were granted. Finally, on March 9,
2017, the trial court held a hearing on defendant's
motions to suppress evidence, identification, and statements.
At the conclusion of that hearing, the trial court denied
defendant's motions and set a discovery hearing for March
March 31, 2017, the record indicates that discovery was
satisfied and a trial date was set for May 30, 2017, but
later reset for August 28, 2017. On the latter date, the
record indicates that defense counsel had withdrawn and a
hearing to determine counsel was set. On October 25, 2017,
the trial court assigned new counsel to defendant; also, the
State tendered a plea offer to defendant. On November 15,
2017, defendant rejected the State's plea offer; and the
case was set for another discovery hearing.
subsequent six court dates, the record indicates that another
substitute defense counsel enrolled and discovery was being
reviewed. On April 13, 2018, the State advised the court that
all discovery had been tendered; a pre-trial conference was
set for May 17, 2018; and trial was set for June 25, 2018. On
May 17, 2018, defendant filed his motion to quash the
25, 2018, the trial court held a hearing on defendant's
motion to quash the indictment. At the conclusion of the
hearing, the trial court granted defendant's motion to
State's timely appeal followed.
sole assignment of error, the State argues that the trial
court erred in granting defendant's motion to quash the
indictment because defendant failed to show that either his
statutory or constitutional right to a speedy trial was
violated. As to defendant's statutory right to a speedy
trial, the State argues that the trial court erred in finding
that the statutory time limitations for commencing trial had
expired. As to defendant's constitutional right to a
speedy trial, the State argues that defendant failed to
establish a constitutional violation, based on the four
factor test enunciated in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S.
514, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972).
law and jurisprudence recognizes two distinct bases for
asserting the right to a speedy trial: a statutory right
based upon the time limitations set forth by La. C.Cr.P. art.
578; and a constitutional right guaranteed by the Sixth
Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I,
§ 16 of the Louisiana Constitution. See State v.
Sorden, 09-1416, p. 7 (La.App. 4 Cir. 8/4/10), 45 So.3d
181, 185-86 (citing State v. Powers, 344 So.2d 1049,
1051 (La. 1977)). The two are not equivalent; "the
question of whether a speedy trial violation is statutory or
constitutional involves wholly separate inquiries."
Sorden, 09-1416, p. 7, 45 So.3d at 186.
case, defendant's motion to quash asserted both his
statutory and constitutional rights to a speedy trial had
been violated, both of which arguments were presented to the
trial court. In granting defendant's motion to quash, the
trial court's ruling appears to be based upon ...