Friday, June 29, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 83

Summary of Decision June 14, 2012

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Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

Case Name: Vance v. State of Wyo.

Citation: 2012 WY 83

Docket Number: S-11-0275

Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County, The Honorable Jere A. Ryckman, Judge

Representing Appellant (Defendant): Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina Olson, Appellate Counsel; and Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff): Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Ryan T. Schelhaas, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

Date of Decision: June 14, 2012

Facts: After entering a conditional plea to one count of felony child abuse, Appellant reserved his right to challenge the denial of his motion to dismiss, which was premised on grounds of constitutional speedy trial. On appeal, Appellant claimed that a six and one-half year delay between charging and arrest raised a presumption of prejudice that the State did not persuasively rebut.

Issue: Was Appellant denied his constitutional right to speedy trial?

Holdings: The Court found that because the district court appeared to have overlooked the question of presumptive prejudice and because no evidence was offered by the prosecution to rebut the presumption of prejudice afforded to Appellant, the Court must conclude that the district court erred in denying Appellant’s motion to dismiss based upon a violation of his constitutional speedy trial right. The Court reversed the district court’s order and remanded for entry of an order granting Appellant’s motion to dismiss based upon the conclusion that his speedy trial rights were violated.

J. Hill delivered the opinion for the court.

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