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Peele v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

November 20, 2019

Jarvis Peele, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Clark Circuit Court The Honorable Bradley B. Jacobs, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 10C02-1708-F6-1587

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT A. David Hutson Hutson Legal Jeffersonville, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Justin F. Roebel Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          NAJAM, JUDGE.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] Jarvis Peele appeals his convictions for possession of methamphetamine, as a Level 6 felony, and two counts of resisting law enforcement, each as a Class A misdemeanor, following a jury trial. Peele raises two issues for our review, but we find the following issue dispositive: whether the trial court erred when it granted the State's motion to continue Peele's trial, outside the timeframe required by Peele's speedy-trial request, based on purportedly unavailable lab test results that the State had not requested from the State Police Laboratory until the same day the State asked the court to continue Peele's trial. We reverse.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] In August of 2017, Jeffersonville law enforcement officers investigated an apparently abandoned home. Officers entered the home through an open garage door and found Peele inside. Peele was lethargic and not following officer commands, and, when officers attempted to place Peele in handcuffs, a struggle ensued. Officers eventually subdued Peele, searched his person, and found methamphetamine in a pocket of his pants.

         [¶3] The State charged Peele with possession of methamphetamine, as a Level 6 felony, and two counts of resisting law enforcement, each as a Class A misdemeanor. Peele requested a speedy trial at his initial hearing, and the trial court set his jury trial date for October 17 in accordance with that request.

         [¶4] Thirteen days before the commencement of Peele's jury trial, the court held a status conference. Peele was present at that conference in person and by counsel. The court engaged the parties in the following colloquy:

THE COURT: So . . . we are set for [a] speedy [trial] and when is that trial set for?
* * *
[THE DEPUTY PROSECUTOR]: . . . October 17th, Judge, but the State is going to have to request a 90[-]day continuance for the labs.
THE COURT: Labs? Ok. So, we haven't seen that[;] as of now, Mr. Peele, we're still set for October 17th. No change in the bond, no change in the trial date. When the State requests . . . a continuance on the trial date . . . we'll assume your ...

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