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State v. Hudson

August 29, 1996

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
THOMAS MERLE HUDSON, PETITIONER. STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT, V. PABLO CINTRON-CARTEGENA, PETITIONER.



Appeal from Superior Court, Snohomish (90-1-00954-2 - Hudson) King (91-1-04969-2 - Cintron-Cartegena), County; Hon. Patricia Aitken, Judge (Cintron-Cartegena) Hon. Gerald Knight, Judge (Hudson). Judgment Date: 2-18-93 (Hudson) 2-24-94 (Cintron-Cartegena).

Guy, J., Durham, C.j., Dolliver, Smith, Johnson, Madsen, Alexander, Talmadge, Sanders, J.j. Concurring.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Guy

EN BANC

GUY, J. -- In each of these cases, the defendants were out of the state after they were charged with committing crimes in Washington. Each now argues that his right to a speedy trial under CrR 3.3 was violated. We conclude the defendants' rights were not violated and affirm the convictions.

HUDSON FACTS

Thomas Hudson was arrested in December 1989 for possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver. He was released when no charges were immediately filed and the matter remained under investigation. On June 29, 1990, before any charges were filed, the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office received a letter from Hudson stating his name and giving his new address in Arizona and stating that upon receiving a "subpeona" [sic] for a court appearance, he would appear on the required date. Assuming that the writer of the letter was a witness because of the use of the word "subpeona," someone in the prosecutor's office returned the letter to Hudson with a request typed on the bottom of the letter which stated: "IN ORDER FOR OUR OFFICE TO ATTACH THIS TO A FILE, WE WILL NEED TO KNOW WHO THE DEFENDANT IS AND WHAT COURT THE CASE IS IN. THANK YOU." Although Hudson received this response and saved it, he did not respond. Hudson had included an "event number" in his letter, but he did not indicate to what or whom it referred. The trial court found that the number was not a unique identifying number absent knowledge of the court in which it was filed or the police agency handling the case. The State conceded that if it had realized that Hudson was the suspect and had run Hudson's name through its case control computer system, Hudson's name would have appeared as a suspect in an uncharged case.

On August 15, 1990, the State filed charges and sent a summons to Hudson's last known address in Yelm, Washington. He did not appear for his arraignment and the court issued a warrant for his arrest. In 1992, Hudson was arrested in Arizona for a traffic violation and a warrant check showed the Washington arrest warrant. He was extradited, booked in Snohomish County jail on March 17, 1992 and arraigned the next day. The time between charging and arraignment was approximately 19 months. The defense filed a timely objection to the arraignment date.

The trial court found that Hudson's letter was not clear and that the State had acted promptly in requesting additional information. The court found that the State's request was reasonable and that Hudson could have responded. The court concluded that the State had acted in good faith and with due diligence and had not violated Hudson's right to a speedy arraignment. The trial court noted the State's alternative argument that Hudson was not amenable to process by summons while he was living in Arizona but based its decision on its finding of good faith and due diligence. At a bench trial, the court found Hudson guilty. Hudson appealed. He argued that the delay between the date charges were filed (August 15, 1990) and the date he was arraigned (March 18, 1992) violated his speedy trial rights under CrR 3.3.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision on the ground that Hudson was not amenable to process when he was living in Arizona. The Court concluded that where a defendant is not amenable to process and there is a substantial delay between the filing of the information and the arraignment, the period the defendant resided out of state is not calculated into the speedy trial period and the Striker *fn1 rule does not apply. State v. Hudson, 79 Wash. App. 193, 196, 900 P.2d 1130 (1995), review granted, 128 Wash. 2d 1024 (1996). Hudson sought review of the Court of Appeals decision in this Court and the case was consolidated with State v. Cintron-Cartegena.

CINTRON-CARTEGENA FACTS

In late 1983, Pablo Cintron-Cartegena moved from Puerto Rico to Seattle where he resided for several months with some friends and their young children. He then returned to Puerto Rico. Seven years later one of the children disclosed the fact that Cintron-Cartegena had repeatedly sexually abused her. The child's parents reported the matter to the police and provided an address for Cintron-Cartegena in Puerto Rico. The State filed charges of statutory rape and indecent liberties on August 30, 1991. An arrest warrant was issued that same day. On September 3, 1991, the King County Prosecutor sent a letter to Cintron-Cartegena saying he had been scheduled to appear for arraignment in Seattle. That letter was addressed to an incomplete version of the Puerto Rican street address which had been provided to the police and was returned marked "Insufficient address."

In early 1993, Cintron-Cartegena was arrested in Florida and returned to Washington where he was arraigned on March 9, 1993. He objected to the arraignment date. The trial court ruled that although there was a substantial delay between the filing of the information and the arraignment, the Striker rule did not apply when the defendant was not amenable to process while he resided outside the State of Washington and that the delay between charging and arraignment was properly excluded from the CrR 3.3 speedy trial period. A jury convicted him of first degree statutory rape and indecent liberties.

Cintron-Cartegena appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals on a number of grounds. *fn2 The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. In the published portion of the opinion, the Court of Appeals held that since Cintron-Cartegena was not amenable to process while he was out of state and not in custody, the speedy trial rule, as interpreted in State v. Striker, 87 Wash. 2d 870, 557 P.2d 847 (1976), excluded such periods of time for calculating the time for trial. State v. Cintron-Cartegena, 79 Wash. App. 600, 904 P.2d 781 (1995), review granted, 128 Wash. 2d 1023 (1996). Cintron-Cartegena sought review of the speedy trial rule issue in his Petition for Review to this Court.

Neither defendant objects to the time period between arraignment and trial, but both Hudson and Cintron-Cartegena maintain that the delay between charging and arraignment violated the Striker ...


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