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State v. Jones

Supreme Court of Arkansas

May 2, 2019

STATE of Arkansas, Appellant
v.
Roger JONES, Appellee

Page 378

          APPEAL FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 72CR-17-863-7], HONORABLE JOANNA TAYLOR, JUDGE

         Leslie Rutledge, Att’y Gen., by: Adam Jackson, Ass’t Att’y Gen., for appellant.

         Hodge Calhoun Giattina, PLLC, Little Rock, by: Robert E. Hodge III, for appellee.

         OPINION

         JOSEPHINE LINKER HART, Associate Justice.

          The State appeals the Washington County Circuit Court’s decision to dismiss criminal charges against Roger Jones for violation of his speedy-trial rights. However, Ark. R. App. P.-Crim. 3(d) prohibits this court from considering a State appeal from any final order unless "the correct and uniform administration of the criminal law requires review by the court." Because the circuit court’s decision to dismiss the charges turned upon the specific facts of this particular case, we cannot consider the State’s appeal. Accordingly, the present appeal is dismissed.

          I. Background

          Jones was arrested on January 29, 2017, based on allegations that Jones had sexually assaulted his two children. As part of its investigation, the State took a blanket containing apparent semen stains from a room shared by the two children and submitted it to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory ("Crime Lab") for serology and DNA testing. The State also obtained DNA samples from Jones and the two children for comparison to whatever was on the blanket.

          The first trial date was set for May 30, 2017. One hundred twenty-one (121) days would transpire between January 29, 2017 and May 30, 2017. It is undisputed that

Page 379

this period of one hundred twenty-one days is appropriately included in the speedy-trial calculation.

          On May 30, 2017, the circuit court granted the State’s motion for a continuance until August 22, 2017, on the basis that reports from the State Crime Lab had not yet been received. Eighty-four (84) days would transpire between May 30, 2017 and August 22, 2017. In its May 31, 2017 continuance order, the circuit court excluded this period of time for purposes of speedy-trial calculation.

          On August 22, 2017, the circuit court granted the State’s second motion for a continuance until November 2, 2017, again on the basis that reports from the State Crime Lab had not yet been received. Seventy-two (72) days would transpire between August 22, 2017 and November 2, 2017. In its August 23, 2017 continuance order, the circuit court excluded this period of time for purposes of speedy-trial calculation.

          On November 3, 2017, the circuit court granted the State’s third motion for a continuance until January 23, 2018, again on the basis that reports from the State Crime Lab had not yet been received. Eighty-two (82) days would transpire between November 2, 2017 (the date of the hearing on the State’s third continuance motion) and January 23, 2018. In its November 3, 2017 ...


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