Walters v. State

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Citation87 P.3d 793,2004 WY 37
PartiesBrandon Ray WALTERS, Appellant (Defendant), v. The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
Decision Date08 April 2004

87 P.3d 793
2004 WY 37

Brandon Ray WALTERS, Appellant (Defendant),
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff)

No. 03-1.

Supreme Court of Wyoming.

April 8, 2004.

Representing Appellant: Kenneth M. Koski, State Public Defender; Will Bierman, Deputy Public Defender.

Representing Appellee: Patrick J. Crank, Wyoming Attorney General; Paul S. Rehurek, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General.


87 P.3d 794
GOLDEN, Justice

[¶ 1] After the district court determined that his constitutional right to a speedy trial had not been violated, Appellant Brandon Ray Walters entered a conditional guilty plea to third degree sexual assault. He has appealed his conviction and sentence contending that his constitutional right to speedy trial was violated.

[¶ 2] We affirm.


[¶ 3] Walters presents the following issue for our review:

Whether the district court improperly denied Appellant's motion to dismiss for lack of speedy trial, when a two-hundred thirty-five (235) day delay occurred between Appellant's waiver of preliminary hearing and Appellant's arraignment?

The State rephrases the issue as:

Did the district court properly conclude that Appellant was not denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial due to the delay between his waiver of a preliminary hearing and his arraignment?


[¶ 4] On April 16, 2001, Walters was charged with third degree sexual assault, and his initial appearance was set for May 24, 2001. Walters retained counsel who entered an appearance, moved to continue Walters' initial appearance, and waived Walters' right to a speedy preliminary hearing on May 18, 2001. The initial appearance was rescheduled for June 14, the same day Walters waived his right to a preliminary hearing. On September 7, the Information was filed in the district court, and the State moved for setting of arraignment. Walters had not been jailed and was released on his own recognizance.

[¶ 5] On October 8, 2001, Walters moved to disqualify the district judge. The case was assigned to a circuit court judge, and arraignment was set for December 12. Walters objected to a circuit court judge assignment and filed a motion to dismiss for deprivation of right to a speedy trial. On December 14, 2001, the case was reassigned to another district court judge who set the arraignment and motion hearing for February 5, 2002.

[¶ 6] At that hearing, Walters entered a not guilty plea, but defense counsel objected to a trial date of March 11, 2002, because counsel had a scheduled vacation at that time. The trial was set for May 7, 2002. The motion to dismiss was heard, and Walters asserted that the ten-month delay from arrest was prejudicial because the deputy sheriff in charge of the investigation and who had obtained Walter's confession during a taped interview had died on July 28, 2001. The deputy's death prevented inquiry concerning Walters' allegations that the deputy had not advised Walters of his rights and had allowed the interview tape to be damaged. Additionally, three witnesses who had been present in the house when the alleged sexual assault occurred had since moved, and Walters lacked the funds to find them and return them for trial.

[¶ 7] The district court determined that discovery could resolve issues relating to the deputy's interview and handling of the tape. The district court also found that Walters had not attempted to interview the witnesses before they moved, had not attempted to locate them since and could request fees from the public defender's office for assistance. For these reasons and because incarceration was not a concern, the district court ruled that any delay...

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16 cases
  • Whitney v. State, 03-34.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 21, 2004
    ...between the time of charge and the time of trial are subject to the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution." Walters v. State, 2004 WY 37, ¶ 9, 87 P.3d 793, 795 (Wyo.2004). We note that on appeal, the appellant does not contend that his trial counsel was ineffective at any time d......
  • Humphrey v. State, 06-249.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • June 16, 2008
    ...delay in bringing the defendant to trial. Barker, 407 U.S. at 533, 92 S.Ct. at 2193; Strandlien, ¶ 6, 156 P.3d at 990; Walters v. State, 2004 WY 37, ¶ 10, 87 P.3d 793, 795 (Wyo. 2004). The ultimate question is "whether the delay in bringing the accused to trial was unreasonable, that is, wh......
  • Hodge v. State, s. S–14–0204
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • August 12, 2015
    ...our appellate rules,6 a delay of 179 days to process an appeal is not significant enough to implicate due process. See Walters v. State, 2004 WY 37, ¶ 11, 87 P.3d 793, 795 (Wyo.2004) (finding a delay of 235 days not significantly long); Taylor v. State, 2001 WY 13, ¶ 6, 17 P.3d 715, 718 (Wy......
  • Fairbourn v. State, S-18-0259, S-19-0217
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • June 11, 2020 trial. Speculation that presumably the witnesses' memories would be less helpful does not establish prejudice. Walters v. State , 2004 WY 37, ¶ 14, 87 P.3d 793, 796 (Wyo. 2004) (defendant "did not show that his defense was impaired because he failed to prove that three witnesses were act......
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