FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 515-141,
SECTION "J" Honorable Darryl A. Derbigny, Judge.
Cannizzaro DISTRICT ATTORNEY Donna Andrieu CHIEF OF APPEALS
Scott G. Vincent ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY Parish of
Orleans COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT
Hoeffgen Orleans Public Defenders COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano, Judge Rosemary Ledet,
Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods.
State seeks review of the trial court's November 30, 2018
ruling that granted Ernest C. Thibodueaux, Jr.'s
("Defendant") motion to quash the bill of
information based on a finding that the State failed to
timely bring Defendant to trial within the two-year
prescriptive period set forth in La. C.Cr.P. art 578(A)(2).
For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the
February 25, 2013, the State filed a bill of information
against Defendant charging him with issuing a worthless check
in the amount of $500 or more in violation of La. R.S.
14:71(D). On April 8, 2013, Defendant appeared for
arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty. The minute
entry reflects that a pre-trial conference was set in the
matter for April 24, 2013, and also notes, "send notice
to defense." On April 24, 2013, Defendant appeared for
his pre-trial conference. The trial court reset the pre-trial
conference until June 12, 2013. Again, the minute entry
reflects, "send notice to defense."
failed to appear for his June 12, 2013 pre-trial conference.
Although his counsel appeared, an alias capias was issued for
Defendant's arrest; and another pre-trial conference was
set for June 13, 2013. On June 13, 2013, Defendant appeared
with counsel, and the alias capias for his arrest was
recalled. Again, another pre-trial conference was set for
July 11, 2013. Again, the minute entry reflects, "send
notice to defense."
11, 2013, Defendant appeared for the scheduled pre-trial
conference without counsel, and it is noted in the minute
entry that counsel was not able to appear due to illness. At
the conference, a probation officer from Jefferson Parish
appeared and informed the trial court that Defendant had an
outstanding warrant from Jefferson Parish. Consequently,
Defendant was remanded to the custody of the Orleans Parish
Criminal Sheriff, and it is noted in the minute entry that
"Defendant will be transferred to JP [Jefferson
Parish]." Another pre-trial conference was set for
August 8, 2013, and the minute entry notes, "State to
writ in the Defendant." The docket master also notes
that "the State filed [a] Motion and Order for Writ of
Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum." However, unlike previous
entries, there is no notation in the July 11, 2013 minute
entry to reflect that Defendant was notified in open court of
the August 8, 2013 pre-trial conference date.
August 8, 2013, when Defendant was not brought to court for
the pre-trial conference and the minute entry reflected at
the time that Defendant was in "JP custody,"
another pre-trial conference was set for August 16, 2013.
Again, the minute entry notes that "the State filed [a]
Motion and Order for Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum .
. . Jefferson Parish." Also, it noted "the State to
writ in the Defendant." Again, unlike previous entries,
the minute entry does not reflect "send notice to
series of pre-trial conferences were set thereafter and
Defendant failed to appear in court for each one of them. The
record clearly reflects that Defendant was not in court when
those pre-trial conferences were set. Finally, on January 15,
2014, the court issued an alias capias for Defendant's
October 31, 2018, Defendant filed a motion to quash the bill
of information on the basis that the State failed to bring
him to trial within the two-year prescriptive period as
provided in La. C.Cr.P. art. 578(A)(2). In its opposition,
the State countered that the two-year prescriptive period did
not expire because prescription was interrupted pursuant to
La. C.Cr.P. art. 579(A)(3). On November 30, 2018, the trial
court granted ...