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Short v. State

April 13, 2009

DOUGLAS ANTHONY SHORT, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (RESPONDENT).



Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable John R. Perry, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Voigt, Chief Justice.

Before VOIGT, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, KITE, and BURKE, JJ.

[¶1] The appellant seeks review of the district court's denial of his motion to dismiss based on the State's alleged violation of his rights under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD). We affirm, although for different reasons than those relied upon by the district court.

ISSUE

[¶2] Should the district court have dismissed with prejudice the Felony Information because the appellant was not brought to trial within the period provided by the IAD?

FACTS

[¶3] A convenience store in Campbell County, Wyoming, was robbed at gunpoint on July 11, 2005. After an ensuing investigation, a Felony Information was filed charging the appellant with aggravated robbery and with conspiring to commit aggravated robbery. An arrest warrant was filed on May 1, 2006.

[¶4] On May 23, 2006, the appellant was arrested on drug charges in Weld County, Colorado. The Colorado authorities initiated a National Crime Information Computer check and discovered the Wyoming arrest warrant. Although the record is not clear in this regard, it appears that the appellant initially refused to waive extradition to Wyoming, because the Wyoming prosecutor subsequently obtained a governor's warrant pursuant to the Uniform Extradition Act found at Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-3-201 et seq. (LexisNexis 2007).*fn1

[¶5] On July 26, 2006, the appellant appeared in a Colorado court, where he pled guilty to, and was sentenced for, the Colorado charges. At the same time, he was served with the governor's warrant and waived extradition to Wyoming. The Colorado sentence ordered the Colorado Department of Corrections to honor the governor's warrant. Rather than being transferred to Wyoming, the appellant began serving his Colorado sentence.*fn2

While it is, once again, unclear in the record, either the governor's warrant was withdrawn, or the Wyoming prosecutor simply decided not to pursue it upon receiving advice from the Wyoming Attorney General's Office that, once the appellant began serving his Colorado sentence, ―the extradition process is no longer applicable to him,‖ but, rather, ―the Interstate Agreement on Detainer (IAD) is now the proper method by which to seek custody . . . .‖*fn3

[¶6] Whatever it is that may have happened in the interim, the appellant, apparently with the assistance of Colorado authorities, prepared a packet of IAD documents, including his Request for Final Disposition of Detainer and Colorado's Offer to Deliver Temporary Custody. The papers appear to have been prepared on November 5, 2006, and signed on November 21, 2006. This paperwork was processed through the Colorado Department of Corrections and was mailed to the Wyoming prosecutor on January 3, 2007. He received it on January 8, 2007. Responsive IAD forms were signed by the prosecutor and judge on January 30, 2007, and were mailed to Colorado by an assistant attorney general on February 9, 2007. The appellant arrived in Campbell County, Wyoming, on February 22, 2007.

[¶7] The appellant almost immediately filed a demand for speedy trial, but soon thereafter, due to his attorney's scheduling conflict, moved to continue his preliminary hearing and waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing was re-scheduled from March 1, 2007 to May 4, 2007. The appellant was bound over to district court, where, two weeks before trial, he filed the Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-5-10 [sic] that is the focus of this appeal. After a hearing, the district court denied the motion. The jury trial began on June 25, 2007. The appellant was found not guilty of aggravated robbery, but guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. This appeal followed.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[ΒΆ8] The applicable standard of review ...


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