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United States v. Prigmore

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

July 23, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM PRIGMORE, Defendant.

          DECISION AND ENTRY OVERRULING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR VIOLATION OF SPEEDY TRIAL RIGHTS (DOC. #47)

          WALTER H. RICE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is currently before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Violation of Speedy Trial Rights, Doc. #47. For the reasons set forth below, that motion is overruled.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         William Prigmore was indicted on November 14, 2017, and was arraigned on December 20, 2017. Since the date of his indictment, three of his attorneys have requested, and been granted, leave to withdraw. Based on his tumultuous interactions with his attorneys and his consistently erratic behavior during court appearances, the Court has twice sua sponte ordered competency evaluations and then held hearings on those evaluations. The Court has also held an evidentiary hearing on Defendant's motion to suppress evidence.

         On July 26, 2018, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss for Violation of Speedy Trial Rights, Doc. #47. While that motion was still pending, Defendant indicated his desire to plead guilty; however, at the change-of-plea hearing, held on August 20, 2018, he continued to profess his innocence. The Court therefore refused to accept his guilty plea. On January 2, 2019, the Government filed a 30-page memorandum in opposition to the Motion to Dismiss, Doc. #54. Defendant did not file a reply.

         A First Superseding Indictment was filed on January 22, 2019, and a Second Superseding Indictment was filed on July 9, 2019. Trial is currently scheduled to begin on July 23, 2019.

         II. Relevant Law

         A. Sixth Amendment

         The Sixth Amendment to United States Constitution guarantees the right of a criminal defendant to "a speedy and public trial." U.S. Const, amend. VI. In Doggett v. United States, 505 U.S. 647 (1992), the Supreme Court noted that factors to be considered in determining whether the Speedy Trial Clause has been violated include: "whether delay before trial was uncommonly long, whether the government or the criminal defendant is more to blame for that delay, whether, in due course, the defendant asserted his right to a speedy trial, and whether he suffered prejudice as the delay's result." Id. at 651.

         The Sixth Circuit has held that:

The first factor is a threshold requirement, and if the delay is not uncommonly long, judicial examination ceases. United States v. Schreane, 331 F.3d 548, 553 (6th Cir. 2003). A delay approaching one year is presumptively prejudicial. Doggett, 505 U.S. at 652, n. 1, 112 S.Ct. 2686. If the threshold is satisfied, the first factor must be considered along with the remaining three factors in the speedy trial analysis. Id.

United States v. Robinson, 455 F.3d 602, 607 (6th Cir. 2006).

         B. Speedy Trial Act

         Under the Speedy Trial Act, trial in a criminal case must commence within seventy days of the filing of the indictment or the date of the arraignment, whichever occurs later. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). Nevertheless, periods of delay "resulting from other proceedings concerning the defendant" are excludable in computing that seventy-day time limit. 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(1). Those periods include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) delay resulting from any proceeding, including any examinations, to determine the mental competency or physical ...

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