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State v. Cunningham

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 21, 2016

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JERRY WAYNE CUNNINGHAM JR., Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, James B. Malloy, District Associate Judge.

         Jerry Cunningham Jr. appeals his judgment and sentence for possession of methamphetamine, second offense. AFFIRMED.

          Andrew J. Boettger of Hastings, Gartin & Boettger, LLP, Ames, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Jean C. Pettinger and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, Judge.

         The district court found Jerry Cunningham Jr. guilty of possession of methamphetamine, second offense. On appeal, Cunningham challenges (1) the court's denial of his motion to dismiss the prosecution based on a speedy trial violation and (2) the court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence arguably gained pursuant to a statutory nurse-patient privilege.

         I. Dismissal Motion

         The ninety-day speedy trial rule states:

If a defendant indicted for a public offense has not waived the defendant's right to a speedy trial the defendant must be brought to trial within 90 days after indictment is found or the court must order the indictment to be dismissed unless good cause to the contrary be shown.

Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.33(2)(b). "In determining whether there is good cause for a delay, [reviewing courts] focus only on one factor, the reason for the delay." State v. Campbell, 714 N.W.2d 622, 627 (Iowa 2006). Our review is for an abuse of discretion. Id.

         We begin with the pertinent dates for application of the ninety-day speedy trial rule. The State filed its trial information on June 11, 2015. Cunningham failed to appear for his arraignment on June 23, and the district court granted a continuance to June 30. Cunningham again failed to appear on June 30, and the district court issued a bench warrant for his arrest. The warrant was served on July 27. Cunningham was arraigned on August 4 and demanded his right to a speedy trial. The district court entered an order setting pretrial conference for September 8 and a jury trial for September 22. Cunningham filed a motion to suppress on August 25, which was scheduled for hearing on September 11. The district court denied the motion on September 16. A bench trial took place on September 21.

         Cunningham did not waive his right to be tried within ninety days; the ninetieth day to be tried fell on September 9, 2015.

         After the speedy trial deadline expired, Cunningham moved to dismiss the trial information. The district court denied the motion. The court cited Cunningham's failure "to appear for his original arraignment" and his failure to appear for the rescheduled arraignment and ...


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