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State v. Dormire

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 2, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CALEB A. DORMIRE, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.

         Caleb Dormire appeals following his conviction of second-degree sexual abuse.

          Kent A. Simmons, Bettendorf, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel L. Mullins, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          DOYLE, Judge.

         Caleb Dormire appeals following his conviction of second-degree sexual abuse. He first argues the court erred in denying his motion to dismiss because the trial information was filed more than forty-five days after he was taken into custody, in violation of his right to a speedy indictment. We review this claim for correction of errors at law. See State v. Williams, 895 N.W.2d 856, 860 (Iowa 2017).

         On the evening of December 16, 2014, a law enforcement officer stopped Dormire's vehicle while investigating a report of sexual assault. Dormire was searched for weapons, placed in the backseat of a patrol car, and informed of his Miranda rights. Dormire agreed to answer questions at the police station and consented to a physical search and confiscation of his clothing for DNA testing. During the night, he was repeatedly told he was not under arrest.

         The DNA samples were sent to a lab for analysis in January 2015, and the results of testing were not received until August 2015. The results led to the issuance of a warrant for Dormire's arrest. He was formally arrested on October 7, 2015, and on November 4, 2015, the State filed a trial information that charged Dormire with second-degree sexual abuse.

         Dormire moved to dismiss the charge, alleging the State had violated Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.33(2)(a), which states:

When an adult is arrested for the commission of a public offense . . . and an indictment is not found against the defendant within 45 days, the court must order the prosecution to be dismissed, unless good cause to the contrary is shown or the defendant waives the defendant's right thereto.

         Dormire alleged he was arrested on December 16, 2014, nearly a year before the State filed the charge against him. He relied on State v. Wing, 791 N.W.2d 243, 247-49 (Iowa 2010), which held the clock begins to tick on a speedy-indictment claim when a reasonable person in the defendant's position would have believed an arrest occurred-regardless of whether the defendant is arrested under the conditions required by statute.[1] The district court denied the motion, finding a reasonable person in Dormire's position, "having been advised by three officers that he was not under arrest and was free to leave at any time, would have understood that he was not under arrest." The matter proceeded trial, a jury found Dormire guilty, and Dormire filed a notice of appeal.

         After Dormire filed this appeal, the supreme court overruled Wing. See State v. Williams, 895 N.W.2d 856, 867 (Iowa 2017). The court held:

Arrest for the purposes of the speedy indictment rule requires the person to be taken into custody in the manner authorized by law. The manner of arrest includes taking the arrested person to a magistrate. The rule is triggered from the time a person is taken into custody, but only when the arrest is ...

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