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State v. Peeler

Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc

May 7, 2015

The State of Washington , Petitioner ,
v.
Ryan James Peeler , Respondent

Argued January 20, 2015.

Rich A. Weyrich, Prosecuting Attorney, and Erik Pedersen, Deputy, for petitioner.

Nancy P. Collins (of Washington Appellate Project ), for respondent.

Suzanne L. Elliott on behalf of Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, amicus curiae.

Pamela B. Loginsky on behalf of Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, amicus curiae.

AUTHOR: Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud. WE CONCUR: Justice Charles W. Johnson, Justice Susan Owens, Justice Debra L. Stephens, Justice Charles K. Wiggins.

OPINION

[183 Wn.2d 172] Sheryl Gordon McCloud, J.

Page 843

¶ 1 The intrastate detainers act (IDA), chapter 9.98 RCW, requires the State to bring a Washington State prisoner to trial for any untried charge within 120 days of the prisoner's request for a final disposition. RCW 9.98.010. Ryan Peeler was serving a prison sentence on a Snohomish County charge at the Washington Corrections Center (WCC) when he requested a final disposition of an untried charge in Skagit County. By the time that the Skagit County prosecutor received Peeler's final disposition request, however, the Department of Corrections (DOC) had transported him to the King County jail to await trial on unrelated charges. Peeler was not returned to WCC until well after the Skagit County prosecutor received his request.

¶ 2 The State failed to bring Peeler to trial in Skagit County within 120 days of receiving his final disposition request. We affirm the Court of Appeals' decision that even though Peeler was physically located in King County

Page 844

when the State received his final disposition request, his request was valid and the State failed to meet the 120-day deadline to bring him to trial in Skagit County. We affirm.

FACTS

¶ 3 The parties do not dispute the relevant procedural facts, which we summarize chronologically below:

Jan. 28, 2011

Skagit County charges Peeler by information with second degree assault. At the time, Peeler is in Snohomish County Jail on an unrelated charge.

Sept. 12, 2011

Peeler is sentenced to a term of imprisonment on the Snohomish County charge.

[183 Wn.2d 173] Sept. 20, 2011

Peeler commences his prison term at the WCC in Shelton.

Oct. 7, 2011

While at the WCC, Peeler initiates his first request for speedy disposition of the untried Skagit County charge under chapter 9.98 RCW.

Oct. 18, 2011

WCC transports Peeler to King County pursuant to a September 28, 2011 transport order.

Oct. 24, 2011

A WCC official signs a certificate of inmate status attesting that Peeler is a prisoner at that institution.

Oct. 26, 2011

The Skagit County prosecuting attorney and superior court receive Peeler's request and the certificate of inmate status.

Oct. 27, 2011

The Skagit County Superior Court orders the DOC to transport Peeler to Skagit County Jail " as soon as possible." Between October 27, 2011 and November 17, 2011, DOC advises the Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney's Office by telephone that it cannot comply with the transport order because Peeler is in King County jail.

Dec. 23, 2011

Peeler pleaded guilty and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment on the King County case.

Dec. 30, 2011

Peeler is transported from King County jail back to the WCC.

Jan. 20, 2012

Peeler initiates his second request for speedy disposition of the untried Skagit County charge. A WCC official signs a second certificate of inmate status.

Feb. 2, 2012

The Skagit County Superior Court, issues a transport order for Peeler, and the deputy prosecuting attorney notes a hearing for February 16, 2012.

Feb. 14, 2012

DOC transports Peeler to Skagit County Jail.

[183 Wn.2d 174] Feb. 16, 2012

The Skagit County Superior Court arraigns Peeler on the second degree assault charge and sets the initial trial date for April 9, 2012.

Feb. 23, 2012

The 120-day deadline based on Peeler's first request for speedy disposition expires.

Aug. 17, 2012

Peeler moves to dismiss the Skagit County charge with prejudice for violation of the 120-day speedy disposition deadline under RCW 9.98.010(1).

Aug. 22, 2012

The Skagit County Superior Court denies Peeler's motion.

Aug. 27, 2012

Trial commences over 10 months after the prosecutor and court receive Peeler's first speedy disposition request.

See State v. Peeler, noted at 179 Wn.App. 1038, 2014 WL 720879, at *1.

¶ 4 The Skagit County Superior Court denied Peeler's motion to dismiss, explaining, " For RCW 9.98.010 to apply[,] the person must be imprisoned and available for transport." Clerk's Papers (CP) at 86. That court correctly found that Peeler was physically located in King County, not WCC, when the Skagit County prosecutor received his first request for final disposition. The superior court therefore concluded that Peeler was not available for transport from WCC at that time, that that was the time period that counted for purposes of RCW 9.98.010, and, hence, that the 120-day time limit did not begin. CP at 85-86.

¶ 5 Peeler was then convicted by jury of second degree assault with a special verdict that the victim's injuries substantially exceeded the level of bodily harm necessary to constitute " substantial bodily harm." CP at 112. The superior court imposed an exceptional sentence of 100 months. CP at 272.

¶ 6 The Court of Appeals reversed. Peeler, 2014 WL 720879, at *1. It held [183 ...


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