State v. Hatchell, 021314 OHCP, CR 13 579217

Docket Nº:CR 13 579217
Opinion Judge:John P. O'Donnell, J.
Party Name:STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff, v. OCTAVIA HATCHELL, Defendant
Case Date:February 13, 2014
Court:Court of Common Pleas of Ohio
 
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STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff,

v.

OCTAVIA HATCHELL, Defendant

No. CR 13 579217

Court of Common Pleas of Ohio, Cuyahoga

February 13, 2014

JOURNAL ENTRY DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS FOR PREINDICTMENT DELAY AND FAILURE TO PROVIDE A SPEEDY TRIAL

John P. O'Donnell, J.

Octavia Hatchell is charged with kidnapping and raping R.P. on December 5, 1995, when he was 17 years old. He was indicted by a grand jury on October 24, 2013. But this indictment is not the first time Hatchell has faced these charges. On December 7, 1996, a criminal complaint was filed against him as case number 9515764 in the juvenile division of this court. That complaint was tried and, on February 6, 1998, the juvenile court judge found Hatchell delinquent on both charges. His commitment to the Ohio Department of Youth Services was stayed pending a sex offender assessment that included a polygraph test.

After the polygraph was done, Hatchell filed a motion for a new trial. That motion is not of record here. It was granted on June 18, 1996. On the same date, the oral motion of the prosecutor to dismiss the complaint was granted and no proceedings took place in the juvenile division or here until the indictment last October.

Hatchell has now filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, arguing that he has been prejudiced by the state's unreasonable preindictment delay in bringing these charges against him. Alternatively, he argues that dismissal is warranted because his statutory and constitutional right to a speedy trial has been violated.

A hearing on the motions was held January 31, 2014, and this entry follows.

STATEMENT OF FACTS 1

On December 5, 1995, R.P. accused Hatchell of abducting her at gunpoint as she walked to school. She claimed that he brought her to his house and raped her repeatedly over the course of the day. Hatchell was arrested on December 6 and remained in custody until being adjudged delinquent on February 6, 1996.

At the January 29, 1996, trial, R.P. testified on cross-examination that the rapes were committed in Hatchell's upstairs bedroom. She said that on a few occasions during the day some of Hatchell's family members, who lived in the house, entered the bedroom. When this occurred she hid herself under the covers. She also admitted to falling asleep with Hatchell two or three times between rapes. R.P. said that at the end of the day, after the rapes were over, Hatchell gave her a piggyback ride downstairs in front of Hatchell's family and she remembered the family laughing and teasing her about her new short haircut.

One or more police officers also testified at trial. The trial testimony was recorded by audiotape equipment. Neither the tape nor a written transcript of any of the testimony exists today.

A rape kit consisting of biological specimens collected from R.P. was created after she went to the police but the items in it were never tested for the presence of biological or other evidence implicating Hatchell. No evidence of the contents of the rape kit was introduced at the trial.

Hatchell and R.P. had a child before December 1995. Upon arrest, Hatchell made a voluntary statement to law enforcement to the effect that he did have consensual sexual conduct with R.P. but that he did not force or threaten her.

The prosecutor in juvenile court was Rebecca Maleckar. She admits to not recalling every detail of this case but does remember being surprised that R.P. testified to the things summarized above because they badly damaged R.P.'s credibility. Maleckar could not recall whether she first learned of the damaging statements before trial or during cross-examination at trial, but she agreed that if R.P. had made the statements before trial, Maleckar would have...

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