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The filing of a motion to suppress by a co-defendant does not toll the time within which a defendant must be brought to trial.

The Ohio Supreme Court has held that the filing of a pretrial motion to suppress by a co-defendant does not automatically toll the time within which a defendant must be brought to trial.

The case is State v. Ramey, 2012-Ohio-2904.

In 2009 the Defendant and a co-defendant were arrested for breaking and entering into Nasty N8s, a tattoo parlor.  They were also accused of using a pistol to beat and rob a man they encountered on the street.  A joint indictment contained two counts of aggravated robbery with firearm specifications, two counts of felonious assault with firearm specifications, and one count of breaking and entering.

The co-defendant Keeton filed a motion to suppress.  The Defendant did not file any pretrial motions.

A trial occurred after the statutory time for bringing the defendant’s matter to trial had expired.

Under Ohio law, a defendant charged with a felony must be brought to trial within two hundred seventy days after the person’s arrest.”  R.C. 2945.71(C)(2).  For purposes of calculating speedy-trial time, “each day during which the accused is held in jail in lieu of bail on the pending charge shall be counted as three days.”  R.C. 2945.71(E).  Thus, subject to certain tolling events, a jailed defendant must be tried within 90 days.

The state argued that the time in which to bring Ramey to trial was tolled by by the filing of his co-defendant’s motion to suppress. The court rejected this argument:

R.C. 2945.72 does not include the filing of pretrial motions by a  co-defendant as an event that automatically extends a defendant’s speedy-trial time.  In construing a statute, we may not add or delete words.  We are, therefore, compelled to conclude that a co-defendant’s filing of pretrial motions does not automatically toll the time in which a defendant must be brought to trial.

The court remanded the case for consideration of other possible tolling issues.

 

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