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People v. Merryfield

OPINION FILED APRIL 29, 1980.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

HAROLD MERRYFIELD, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. BRUCE R. FAWELL, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE VAN DEUSEN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied June 10, 1980.

Defendant, Harold Merryfield, was charged by indictment with the offense of theft over $150. The trial court dismissed the indictment on the grounds that the failure to prosecute the defendant and bring him to trial within 180 days from the date he made a demand for trial was in violation of the Uniform Agreement on Detainers Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1003-8-9). The State appeals.

Defendant's motion to dismiss was based on the following grounds:

(1) that the proceedings against the defendant were initiated by a complaint on January 27, 1977, and served upon him on February 4, 1977;

(2) that on May 19, 1977, he made a written demand for a speedy trial pursuant to section 103-5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 103-5);

(3) that he had been continuously in the custody of Federal authorities from April 12, 1977, to the present time (October 16, 1978);

(4) that on December 12, 1977, he filed a second demand for a speedy trial stating that he was then incarcerated in the Federal correctional center in Oxford, Wisconsin;

(5) that on December 22, 1977, he filed a third demand for a speedy trial stating that he was then incarcerated at the Federal Metropolitan Center in Chicago, Illinois;

(6) that his demands for speedy trial of December 12 and December 22, 1977, complied with the notice requirements of article III(a) of the Uniform Agreement on Detainers Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1003-8-9, art. III(a));

(7) that on February 3, 1978, the Du Page County State's Attorney was aware that he was in the custody of Federal authorities;

(8) that more than 180 days have elapsed since the filing of the said demands for trial;

(9) and that his trial had not as yet commenced and that he had in no way acquiesced in or caused the delay.

The defendant's motion to dismiss was filed on October 3, 1978, and granted by the judge on October 16, 1978. In granting the motion, the trial judge found that the defendant had substantially complied with the Uniform Agreement on Detainers Act in that the defendant had made a demand in writing for speedy trial ...


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