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Batts v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

December 19, 2014

Porter Allen Batts
v.
State of Alabama

          Appeal from Madison Circuit Court. (CC-13-1227).

         For Appellant: Chad A. Morgan, Huntsville.

         For Appellee: Luther Strange, Atty. Gen., and Madeline H. Lewis, Asst. Atty. Gen.

         BURKE, Judge., Windom, P.J., and Welch, Kellum, and Joiner, JJ., concur.

          OPINION

Page 982

          BURKE, Judge.

         Porter Allen Batts was convicted of trafficking in cocaine, a violation of § 13A-12-231(2), Ala. Code 1975, and of first-degree criminal mischief, a violation of § 13A-7-21, Ala. Code 1975. He was sentenced as a habitual felony offender to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the trafficking conviction and to 25 years' imprisonment for the criminal-mischief conviction. This appeal follows.

         A review of the record reveals that Batts was arrested for the charged crimes on February 2, 2009, but was not brought to trial until August 11, 2014. On May 8, 2009, Batts filed a motion in which he demanded a speedy trial. On April 12, 2013, Batts filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, alleging a violation of his right to a speedy trial under the United States Supreme Court's holding in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972).

         The trial court held a hearing on Batts's motion to dismiss the morning of trial. At the hearing, the following exchange occurred:

" [Defense counsel]: Judge, just in reference to the motion [to dismiss], for simplicity's sake, I just reiterate my motion in full as of now with the caselaw that was presented. It was presumptively prejudicial against my client for the case to be ongoing for 50 months when I filed the motion -- it was in the 50th month when I filed the motion. Now we are over 60 months since the time he was arrested for this case. He asserted that right for speedy trial back in 2009 through his former counsel. Judge, we would ask the case be dismissed for lack of a speedy trial, which is prejudicial in the difference --
" THE COURT: The Court has looked at your argument regarding your motion and is somewhat familiar with the caselaw regarding that issue, and the Court determines that this is not a case that should be granted dismissal on the basis of lack of speedy trial; and, therefore, your motion is denied."

(R. 6-7.) Nothing else is contained in the record regarding Batts's motion to dismiss on a speedy-trial ground.

         On appeal, Batts argues, among other things, that the trial court erred by failing to consider the factors established in Barker v. Wingo. In Barker, the United States Supreme Court directed that, when determining whether a defendant's constitutional right ...


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