Speedy Trial Dismissal – February 2017
In July of 2014, a Johnson County man was charged with a dozen sex-related felonies against his adult step-daughter. He hired Bath & Edmonds to defend him against these allegations. He refused all plea offers and the case was set for trial in January of 2016. However, when Bath & Edmonds successfully excluded the evidence from the State’s medical expert witness, due to late disclosure by the State, and the court denied the State’s request to continue to cure their mistake, the State was forced to dismiss its case—three days before trial.
Within days, the State filed a new case alleging the same charges. Bath & Edmonds’ attorneys immediately asserted the client’s right to a speedy trial under Kansas law. On April 2, 2016, Bath & Edmonds filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the first and second cases should be added together to find that the State’s time to bring the client to trial ended on April 1, 2016. The court denied this motion, finding that only part of the time should be added together and the time had not yet run for the State to bring the defendant to trial. Bath & Edmonds also filed a motion arguing that the State had violated the client’s right to a speedy trial under the United States Constitution. The court denied this motion as well.
On June 8, 2016, the parties appeared for a pre-trial conference. Defense counsel was forced to seek a continuance of the trial, which the court ruled would not count against the State for speedy trial purposes. Two weeks later, Bath & Edmonds learned that the State had been withholding evidence beneficial to the defense since the January dismissal. Bath & Edmonds filed a motion to require the State to produce this evidence and a hearing was held. Based upon information learned at the hearing Bath & Edmonds filed renewed motions to dismiss for violations of both the State and Constitutional speedy trial rights. These motions were argued in November of 2016. On February 17, 2017, the court dismissed all twelve charges, finding that, due to the State’s conduct, all the time for both cases should be added together and that as a result, the State had violated the client’s rights under Kansas law. The State did not appeal the court’s decision.