from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Peter B.
Newell, District Associate Judge.
defendant appeals her conviction for third-degree theft on
speedy-indictment grounds. REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR
C. Abbott of Abbott Law Office, P.C., Waterloo, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
Nicole Comstock appeals her conviction for theft in the third
degree on speedy-indictment grounds. Comstock contends the
State violated Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.33(2)(a) by
waiting 269 days after her initial appearance to file its
trial information. Because we find Comstock was arrested when
she appeared in court and waived a preliminary hearing and
the State did not file its trial information within
forty-five days of that appearance, we reverse Comstock's
conviction and remand for dismissal of the trial information.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
August 23, 2005, a sergeant with the Waverly Police
Department filed a criminal complaint accusing Comstock of
third-degree theft. The complaint alleged Comstock had
presented four checks written on a closed bank account to a
Waverly Wal-Mart in May 2005. A magistrate issued a summons
ordering Comstock to appear and answer the theft charge, and
Comstock did so on October 14. Comstock also applied for
counsel and waived a preliminary hearing at her October 14
appearance. After Comstock signed an agreement providing she
would not leave Iowa without the written consent of the
court, would keep her attorney apprised of her whereabouts,
and would personally appear in court for all required
hearings, the court released her on her own recognizance
nine months later, on July 10, 2006, the State filed a trial
information charging Comstock with aggravated-misdemeanor
theft, in violation of Iowa Code sections 714.1 and 714.2
(2005). Comstock failed to appear for her arraignment, and
the court issued a warrant for her arrest on August 7, 2006.
She was not arrested on the outstanding warrant until January
March 27, 2015, Comstock filed a motion to dismiss, alleging
a speedy-indictment violation. In resistance, the State did
not attempt to show good cause for the delay. Instead, the
State cited State v. Mahan, 483 N.W.2d 1, 1-2 (Iowa
1992), in support of its contention Comstock had not been
arrested before the State filed its trial information and,
because no arrest occurred, the speedy-indictment rule had
not been triggered. Adopting the State's rationale, the
district court denied Comstock's motion to dismiss. On
November 18, Comstock waived her right to a jury trial and
agreed to a trial on the minutes of testimony. Following
trial, the court found Comstock guilty.
Scope and Standard of Review
review the district court's interpretation of rule
2.33(2)(a) for correction of legal error. State v.
Penn-Kennedy, 862 N.W.2d 384, 386 (Iowa 2015). If the
fact-findings are supported by substantial evidence, we are
bound by them. Id.