State v. Mikell

Decision Date26 May 2020
Docket NumberA19-0732
PartiesState of Minnesota, Respondent, v. Roosevelt Mikell, Appellant.
CourtMinnesota Court of Appeals

This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2018).


Cochran, Judge

Hennepin County District Court

File No. 27-CR-18-26380

Keith Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and

Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Sarah J. Vokes, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)

Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Lydia Maria Villalva Lijó, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

Considered and decided by Cochran, Presiding Judge; Segal, Chief Judge; and Ross, Judge.



Appellant challenges his convictions of violating a domestic-abuse no-contact order (DANCO), arguing that his convictions should be reversed because his speedy-trial rights were violated under the state and federal constitutions, and the Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Act (UMDDA). Appellant also argues that the district court abused its discretion by not dismissing the case under Minn. R. Crim. P. 30.05. Finally, in his pro se supplemental brief, appellant raises the same arguments presented in his primary brief. We affirm.


On June 6, 2017, respondent State of Minnesota charged appellant Roosevelt Mikell with domestic assault. The next day, the district court issued a DANCO, which prohibited Mikell from having contact with the victim. After the DANCO was issued, Mikell twice called the victim from jail. Mikell was subsequently charged with two counts of violating a DANCO.

On August 21, 2017, Mikell appeared pro se for a scheduled jury trial on the domestic-assault charge. Mikell was also scheduled to make his first appearance related to the DANCO charges later that afternoon. In an effort to avoid an interruption of the jury selection in the domestic-assault case, the district court proceeded with Mikell's arraignment on the DANCO charges prior to the beginning of the jury trial on the domestic-assault charges. During his arraignment, Mikell requested a speedy trial related to the DANCO charges, and the district court noted that "a speedy [trial] demand will be entered." Mikell then proceeded pro se in his jury trial for the domestic-assault charges, and was found guilty.

On October 5, 2017, the district court sentenced Mikell to 60 months in prison for domestic assault. That same day, Mikell reminded the district court of his speedy trialdemand in the DANCO cases. And on November 7, 2017, the state received Mikell's request under the UMDDA, Minn. Stat. § 609.292 (2018), for final disposition of the DANCO charges. The state responded by dismissing the DANCO charges on November 13, 2017.

Mikell appealed his domestic-assault conviction. In September 2018, this court, in an order opinion, reversed Mikell's domestic-assault conviction and remanded for a new trial. State v. Mikell, No. A18-0028 (Minn. App. Sept. 14, 2018). Shortly thereafter, on October 25, 2018, the state filed a new complaint alleging the same two DANCO violations that were alleged in the August 18, 2017 complaint. Mikell moved to dismiss the new complaint on November 2, 2018, asserting a violation of his right to a speedy trial. The district court denied the motion. The state subsequently dismissed the domestic-assault charges and agreed to resolve the DANCO charges with a 30-month sentence. Mikell accepted the offer, agreeing to waive his right to a jury trial and stipulate to the state's evidence under Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.01, subd. 4, thereby preserving his right to appeal the speedy-trial issue.

Based on the stipulated evidence, the district court found Mikell guilty of both of the alleged DANCO violations. The district court then sentenced Mikell to a 30-month sentence on each count, to run concurrently.

This appeal follows.

I. Mikell's constitutional right to a speedy trial was not violated.

The United States and Minnesota Constitutions afford criminal defendants the right to a speedy trial. U.S. Const. amend. VI; Minn. Const. art. I, § 6. This court reviews a claimed speedy-trial violation de novo. State v. Taylor, 869 N.W.2d 1, 19 (Minn. 2015). "If a defendant has been deprived of his or her right to a speedy trial, the only possible remedy is dismissal of the case." State v. Osorio, 891 N.W.2d 620, 627 (Minn. 2017) (quotation omitted).

"To determine whether a speedy-trial violation has occurred, we apply the four-factor balancing test set forth by the Supreme Court of the United States in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S. Ct. 2182 (1972)." Id. The four factors are: "(1) the length of the delay; (2) the reason for the delay; (3) whether the defendant asserted his or her right to a speedy trial; and (4) whether the delay prejudiced the defendant." Id. (quotation omitted). "None of these factors is 'either a necessary or sufficient condition to the finding of a deprivation of the right of speedy trial. Rather, they are related factors and must be considered together with such other circumstances as may be relevant.'" Taylor, 869 N.W.2d at 19 (quoting Barker, 407 U.S. at 533, 92 S. Ct. at 2182). It is "a difficult and sensitive balancing process" in which the court considers "the conduct of both the State and the defendant." Osorio, 891 N.W.2d at 628 (quotations omitted). We consider each of the four factors in turn.

A. The Length of the Delay

In Minnesota, if a defendant demands a speedy trial under Minn. R. Crim. P. 11.09, a delay of just 60 days is presumptively prejudicial. State v. Windish, 590 N.W.2d 311, 315-16 (Minn. 1999). "The length of the delay is a triggering mechanism which determines whether further review is necessary." Osorio, 891 N.W.2d at 628 (quotations omitted). Analysis of the other three factors is only required if the length of the delay is presumptively prejudicial. See State v. Johnson, 498 N.W.2d 10, 15-16 (Minn. 1993).

Mikell argues that analysis of the other three factors is triggered because the length of the delay between the filing of the DANCO charges in August 2017, and the trial in January 2019, consisted of over 500 days. The state agrees that analysis of the other three factors is triggered because the delay exceeded 60 days but argues that the length of the delay should be calculated at only 120 days.1 Because the parties agree that the length of the delay exceeded 60 days, we conclude that the length of the delay weighs in Mikell's favor and the analysis of the other Barker factors is required.

B. The Reason for the Delay

"Under the second prong of the Barker test, the key question is whether the government or the criminal defendant is more to blame for the delay." Osorio, 891 N.W.2dat 628. Once we have determined which party is responsible for the delay, we must consider the specific reasons for the delay. Id. Various reasons for the delay are weighed differently. Id. Negligent or administrative reasons for delay are given less weight than deliberate attempts by the state to delay trial. Barker, 407 U.S. at 531, 92 S. Ct. at 2192.

Mikell argues that the reason for the delay should weigh against the state because after being charged with the DANCO violation, he "immediately" and "repeatedly" demanded a speedy trial and "did nothing to contribute to the delay." Mikell also contends that "there is conduct by the state that indicates that filing a second complaint was legal maneuvering after [Mikell] succeeded on appeal in [the domestic-assault] case and rejected a plea offer."

To support his argument, Mikell cites State v. Kasper, 411 N.W.2d 182 (Minn. 1987). In that case, the defendant demanded a speedy trial in writing to require the state to bring him to trial within 60 days under the applicable procedural rule. Kasper, 411 N.W.2d at 183. Approximately one month before the trial date, the prosecutor moved for a continuance. Id. After the district court denied the motion, the prosecutor dismissed the tab charges and then immediately filed a formal complaint alleging the same charges, in an attempt to restart the 60-day period. Id. The Kasper court admonished the prosecutor's attempted "legal maneuvering" around the 60-day speedy-trial requirement. Id. at 185.

Mikell's reliance on Kasper is misplaced. In In re Welfare of G.D., this court distinguished Kasper, noting that in Kasper, the state's attempt to avoid the defendant's formal speedy-trial demand contained an element of bad faith. 473 N.W.2d 878,881 (Minn. App. 1991). This court then held that, absent bad faith, the length of delay does not include the time during which charges have been dismissed. Id. at 882.

Here, unlike in Kasper, the record lacks the element of bad faith. The record reflects that after Mikell was convicted of domestic assault and received a 60-month sentence, Mikell filed his request for final disposition of the DANCO charges under the UMDDA. The state then dismissed the DANCO charges on November 13, 2017, "because the State had obtained a lengthy prison sentence on the domestic assault." As Mikell concedes, the decision to dismiss the DANCO charges "benefitted [him] at that time." It was only after Mikell's domestic-assault convictions were reversed that the state refiled the charges in the DANCO case. Although the state first attempted to obtain a plea agreement before refiling the DANCO charges, there is no indication of bad faith by the state. The domestic-assault charges were interrelated with the DANCO charges, and the record indicates that the state intended to hold Mikell responsible for his conduct without necessarily obtaining convictions and sentences for all the pending charges. In fact, Mikell admits in his reply brief that the state ultimately "dismissed the domestic assault case." Because there is no evidence of bad faith on the part of the state, the length of the delay does not include the time during which the DANCO charges were...

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