People v. Kilcauski, 2016 IL App (5th) 140526 (August). Episode 241 (Duration 9:02)
Constitutional and statutory speedy trial right violations occurred from these unique facts.
This defendant was arrested in Clinton County. He did not post bond.
However, the Clinton County Sheriff’s office made the unilateral decision to release defendant over to the State of Missouri for prosecution in a St. Louis case.
The Illinois trial judge found defendant technically remained in the custody of the Clinton County because he had never posted bond on his case.
The court stated that it would not issue a warrant for failure to appear because it was not the defendant’s fault that he could not appear.
The court then, on its own motion, dismissed the case because the State had not provided the defendant with a preliminary hearing within 30 days from the date he was taken into custody.
Demand For Speedy Made
From his St. Louis jail defendant filed a pro se demand for a speed trial.
About a year later, the prosecution sought a bill of indictment. About another 6 months went by before defendant was arrested again on these charges.
Now, the trial court dismissed this indictment based on a statutory and constitutional speedy trial violation. Was this correct?
Constitutional Speedy Trial Rights
The constitutional and statutory rights to a speedy trial are not necessarily coextensive.
When considering whether a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial has been violated, there are four factors that may be considered and balanced:
- The length of the delay
- The reasons for the delay
- The defendant’s assertion of the right to a speedy trial, and
- The prejudice to the defendant.
The length of the delay is considered the triggering mechanism for considerations of the other factors, but the length of delay is necessarily dependent on the peculiar circumstances of the case, and not on any fixed period of time.
Deliberate delays are weighted heavily and negligence is weighted a little less heavily.
Finally, in assessing the prejudice factor, courts are to consider the interests of defendants that the speedy-trial right was designed to protect:
(1) preventing undue and oppressive incarceration,
(2) 10 minimizing the anxiety and concern that accompanies public accusations, and
(3) limiting the possibility that the defense will be impaired.
The defendant had never been released from the custody of the Clinton County sheriff’s department, even though the charges had been dismissed, and the defendant remained in the physical custody of St. Louis County for about 9 months after he was transferred there.
Thus, there was a delay of more than a year between the date the defendant was arrested and detained on the original charges and the date of his indictment on those same charges.
The delay between the dismissal of the original charges and the filing of the bill of indictment on the same charges was almost a year.
In this case, there were restraints on the defendant’s liberty that triggered the protections of the speedy-trial provision of the sixth amendment.
Because this preindictment delay was more than a year long it was “presumptively prejudicial” and triggers an inquiry into the other factors.
Factors Applied To This Case
In this case, the State offered no explanation to justify the delay.
Notably, the defendant was not operating as a fugitive. The State knew darn well he was sitting in a St. Louis jail. The State did not seek an indictment for more than 11 months after the initial charges were dismissed, and it offered no reason for the delay.
As the State did not present any reason to justify the delay, this factor is weighed against the State.
In this case, the record demonstrates that the defendant made an attempt to request a speedy trial and a disposition of the charges in Clinton County. This factor weighs in the defendant’s favor.
Finally, the court considered the prejudice resulting from the delay. In this case, it appears undisputed that the defendant was subjected to a lengthy pretrial incarceration period of at least eight months.
The defendant also alleged actual prejudice from the delay in that he was unable to locate the only witness to the conversation with the police officer that led to his arrest for obstructing justice, and he lost the opportunity for concurrent sentencing.
The State offered no argument or evidence to dispute these allegations of prejudice.
Under these unique facts, the delay resulted in a violation of the defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial, and the trial court did not err in granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss this case on constitutional speedy-trial grounds.
Furthermore, because defendant was never formally released from custody after his original charge. All the time he was in St. Louis and thereafter meant his statutory speedy trial clock was running.
Clearly the state did not try him within 120 days, so his statutory speedy trial rights under 725 ILCS 5/103-5(a) were also violated.