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Dillard v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 7, 2018

Glenn Dillard, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Annie Christ-Garcia, Judge The Honorable Ronnie Huerta, Commissioner Trial Court Cause No. 49G24-1702-F6-7133

          Attorney for Appellant Darren Bedwell Marion County Public Defender Appellate Division Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Tyler G. Banks Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Bradford, Judge.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] Glenn Dillard requested a speedy trial pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 4(B) after he was charged with two counts of Level 6 felony theft and Class B misdemeanor battery. He filed a motion to dismiss after he was not brought to trial in accordance with his speedy trial request. Although the trial court found that the delay in bringing Dillard to trial was attributed to the State, it denied Dillard's motion. Because we conclude that the trial court erred in denying Dillard's motion to dismiss, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On February 22, 2017, Dillard was charged with two counts of Level 6 felony theft and Class B misdemeanor battery. At some point prior to trial, his original counsel was replaced by other counsel. On April 24, 2017, the trial court ordered that the "State [s]hall put into writing any prior convictions & or statements they intend to use at trial[.]" Appellant's App. Vol. II, p. 10. On May 2, 2017, Dillard requested a speedy trial pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 4(B). The trial court noted that the seventy-day deadline for a speedy trial was July 11, 2017, and scheduled trial for that day.

         [¶3] On the morning of trial, the State attempted to introduce certain incriminating and threatening statements allegedly made by Dillard. These statements included: (1) "I will get away quicker than the police will get here[;]" (2) "[B****] I know where you work and what time you work[;]" (3) "I will be long gone by the time police come and get me[;]" (4) "[B****] I will come back and kill you. I know when you work, I know when you close[;]" (5) "Your store is easy[;]" and (6) "You get a kick out of seeing another black man down." Supp. Tr. Vol. II, pp. 13-14. Dillard argued that the statements had "never been disclosed to the Defense, so by Local Rule [the statements] shouldn't be allowed." Supp. Tr. Vol. II, p. 5. The State asserted that the statements "were disclosed to the previous defense attorney[.]" Supp. Tr. Vol. II, p. 5. The trial court ruled that "anything that has to do with threats or perceived threats is going to be excluded … but the others that don't have to do with, you know it's easy to steal, things like that has nothing to do with threats or perceived threats so you can use those." Supp. Tr. Vol. II, p. 14. At Dillard's request, the trial court granted a continuance until it could determine whether the State had disclosed the non-excluded statements.

         [¶4] On July 18, 2017, the trial court conducted a hearing during which Dillard's prior counsel testified about the parties' discovery dispute. Both prior to and during this hearing, the deputy prosecutor represented that the challenged statements were disclosed to Dillard's prior counsel. Dillard's prior counsel, however, testified that the State did not disclose the challenged statements. While the parties presented differing accounts as to exactly what was disclosed by the deputy prosecutor, it was uncontested that the challenged statements were not disclosed in writing as required by the trial court order and the local rules. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court stated "I'm going to charge [the delay] to the State[.]" Tr. Vol. II, p. 7.

         [¶5] On July 19, 2017, Dillard filed a motion to dismiss in which he argued that the charges against him should be dismissed because the State's actions, not his own, caused the failure to bring him to trial within the seventy-day time limit set forth in Indiana Trial Rule 4(B). Following a hearing, the trial court denied Dillard's motion. Dillard sought and was granted permission to bring the instant interlocutory appeal.

         Discussion and Decision

         [¶6] As an initial matter, we note that the facts and circumstances presented in this case exemplify the importance of making a written record in all criminal cases and underscore the need for compliance with court orders, the trial rules, and any applicable local rules. The State was specifically ordered to disclose any statements made by Dillard that it intended to use at trial in writing. In addition, Marion County Local Rule LR49-CR00-107(2)(a) provides that "The State shall disclose the following material and information within its possession or control … (2) Any written, oral or recorded statements made by the accused or by a codefendant, and a list of witnesses to the making and acknowledgement of such statements." Noncompliance with court orders, the trial rules, and applicable local rules negatively impacts fairness to the parties and, in the name of just results, should be avoided. This is not to suggest that all failures to comply with court orders, trial rules, and local rules relating to discovery should automatically result in reversal. Reversal is only warranted where a failure to comply with discovery rules results in prejudice. Stated differently, court orders and local rules relating to discovery are not designed to be "gotcha technicalities" used to manipulate the proceedings, but instead aim to insure fairness and order during the exchange of discovery.

         [¶7] Dillard contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss. Specifically, he argues that because the delay in bringing him to trial was attributed to the State, the charges against him should have been dismissed due to the violation of his speedy ...


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