from the Delaware Circuit Court Trial Court Cause No.
18C01-1404-FA-1 The Honorable Marianne L. Vorhees, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Samuel J. Beasley Muncie, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Ian McLean Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis,
Jaron Leekingdus Ratliff appeals the trial court's denial
of his motion to discharge the charges against him based on
an alleged Criminal Rule 4(C) violation. Ratliff also argues
the State violated his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy
trial under the United States Constitution because there was
a delay in bringing him to trial of over three years while he
was incarcerated in another jurisdiction. We affirm.
and Procedural History
On April 1, 2014, police arrested Ratliff after he sold
cocaine to two confidential informants. On April 8, 2014, the
State charged Ratliff with two counts of Class A felony
dealing in cocaine. The trial court held an initial hearing on
the matter on April 22, 2014, and set a trial date of August
11, 2014. On April 24, 2014, Ratliff was released on bail.
The trial court held a pre-trial hearing on May 3, 2014, and
all parties attended. On July 7, 2014, the trial court held
another pre-trial hearing, but Ratliff and his counsel did
not appear. The trial court issued a warrant for
Ratliff's arrest. On the scheduled trial date, Ratliff
and his counsel again did not appear, but an unidentified
third party announced on the Record that Ratliff was in the
Madison County Jail and "he's going to be there for
a while." (Tr. Vol. II at 4.) The trial court canceled
the jury trial.
On March 29, 2018, the trial court scheduled a status
conference on Ratliff's case for May 9, 2018. On May 9,
Ratliff moved to continue the status conference, and the
trial court rescheduled the status conference for June 13,
2018. On June 13, the trial court held the status conference.
The next day, the court set a pretrial conference for July 25
and set Ratliff's jury trial for August 6, 2018.
On July 23, 2018, Ratliff filed a motion for discharge
pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C). On August 6, the
trial court held a hearing on the matter and denied
Ratliff's motion. The trial court then certified its
order for interlocutory review, and we subsequently accepted
Under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C)
Ratliff contends the trial court erred when it denied his
motion for discharge pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C).
When we review Criminal Rule 4 claims, we review questions of
law de novo and we review the trial court's
factual findings under the clearly erroneous standard.
Mefford v. State, 51 N.E.3d 327, 333 (Ind.Ct.App.
2016). Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) provides:
No person shall be held on recognizance or otherwise to
answer a criminal charge for a period in aggregate embracing
more than one year from the date the criminal charge against
such defendant is filed, or from the date of his arrest on
such charge, whichever is later; except where a continuance
was had on his motion, or the delay was caused by his act, or
where there was not sufficient time to try him during such
period because of congestion of the court calendar; provided,
however, that in the last-mentioned circumstance, the
prosecuting attorney shall file a timely motion for
continuance as under subdivision (A) of this rule. Provided
further, that a trial court may take note of congestion or an
emergency without the necessity of a motion, and upon so
finding may order a continuance. Any continuance granted ...