Fields v. State

Decision Date23 June 1982
Docket NumberNo. F-81-269,F-81-269
Citation648 P.2d 43
PartiesBrent Volcey FIELDS, Appellant, v. The STATE of Oklahoma, Appellee.
CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
OPINION

CORNISH, Judge:

The appellant was convicted in the District Court of Tulsa County for Larceny of Merchandise from a Retailer, After Former Conviction of Three Felonies. He was sentenced to twenty (20) years' imprisonment.

On April 4, 1980, a security guard in a Tulsa, Oklahoma, Target Store observed the appellant place a radio in a shopping cart and exit the store with the cart and radio without paying.

Only two issues raised on appeal need be addressed in this opinion. First the appellant claims he was denied his right to a speedy trial. The record shows he was originally taken into custody on April 4, 1980, and that his jury trial was eventually set for May 21, 1980, which was later passed to July 23, 1980. On that date, the appellant failed to appear for trial and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Jury trial was then reset and passed three more times until it was held on October 20, 1980.

In considering a claim that the right to speedy trial has been violated, we apply the balancing test set forth in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972), where the conduct of both the prosecution and the defendant are weighed. Four factors considered are the length of delay, the reasons for delay, the defendant's assertion of his right, and the prejudice to the defendant. See Bauhaus v. State, 532 P.2d 434 (Okl.Cr.1975).

Other than the appellant's failure to appear, the record does not indicate the reasons for the postponements. Nonetheless, the three-month delay to October 20, 1980, commencing from July 23, 1980, when the appellant failed to appear, is not sufficiently long to raise by itself a presumption of undue delay. See Jones v. State, 595 P.2d 1344 (Okl.Cr.1979). A defendant should not be permitted to urge a dismissal for delay when it is clear that he or she has contributed to such delay. Barker v. Wingo, supra; Jones v. State, supra; Rose v. State, 509 P.2d 1368 (Okl.Cr.1973). Additionally, there does not appear on the record any assertion of the right to a speedy trial until the day of trial on October 20, when the appellant argued his motion to dismiss.

The appellant alleges he was prejudiced by the delays because his brother, whom he designates as a material witness, had since been transferred to Hawaii by the Army, and was no longer available to testify. After evaluating what the anticipated testimony consisted of, we find that the witness was not material and his absence did not substantially impair the defense. A dismissal of the case is therefore not warranted.

The next issue involves a claim that the prosecutor improperly cross-examined the appellant on the subject of his post-arrest silence. The appellant urges reversal based on the following to which his timely objection and request for a mistrial were overruled:

Q: -not handcuffed, and you rode all the way from 1700 South Yale to the police station right over next door and you never once told that police officer, "I didn't do it"?

A: Oh, I probably--

A person has the right to remain silent when arrested and accused of a crime. U.S.C.A.Const.Amends. 5, 14. The use of a defendant's silence at the time of arrest, after receiving Miranda warnings, for purposes of impeachment violates Fourteenth Amendment due process. Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 96 S.Ct. 2240, 49 L.Ed.2d 91 (1976). For a prosecutor to comment on the exercise of a defendant's Miranda rights is to negate the rights given. Watt v. City of Oklahoma City, 628 P.2d 371 (Okl.Cr.1981) (Cornish dissents).

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4 cases
  • Webb v. Allbaugh
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Oklahoma
    • April 15, 2016
    ...to remove defense counsel, the prosecuting attorney, and the assigned trial judge does not weigh against the State. Fields v. State, 648 P.2d 43, 44 (Okla. Crim. App. 1982); see United States v. Loud Hawk, 474 U.S. 302, 316-17 (1986) (refusing to weigh delay caused by the defendant); see al......
  • Henager v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • February 4, 1986
    ...that a defendant who is responsible for a delay should not be allowed to claim violation of his rights to a speedy trial. Fields v. State, 648 P.2d 43 (Okl.Cr.1982); Jones v. State, 595 P.2d 1344 A defendant who is incarcerated need not demand a speedy trial. It is presumed that the law mak......
  • Harrolle v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • September 28, 1988
    ...silence at the time of his arrest after being given the Miranda warning for impeachment purposes. Appellant relies on Fields v. State, 648 P.2d 43, 45 (Okla.Crim.App.1982), and Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 96 S.Ct. 2240, 49 L.Ed.2d 91 (1976). The State relies on Jenkins v. Anderson, 447 U.S......
  • Hampton v. State
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • July 12, 1988
    ...call attention to the fact that appellant had elected to exercise his constitutional right to remain silent. Fields v. State, 648 P.2d 43, 45 (Okla.Crim.App.1982). The comments were objected to by appellant, and said objections were sustained by the trial judge before the witness had opport......

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