Speedy Trial Violation

In a December 18, 2020 Opinion and Order, 43rd Judicial District Court Judge Brian C. Hartwell dismissed charges, including third-degree fleeing and eluding and carrying a concealed weapon, that had been pending following the person’s arrest in December 2011. The judge found that some of the lengthy delay that followed was attributable to the defendant, who had failed to appear at a February 2012 preliminary examination – where a bench warrant was issued – and who subsequently was incarcerated for several years out-of-state. However, the defendant sought to resolve the matter, either through dismissal or extradition from Arizona, starting in October 2017. While some beginning steps were taken towards extradition, in 2019 the State Police indicated they would not extradite. The defendant was finally arraigned on the bench warrant in June 2020.

Judge Hartwell attributed the delays prior to October 2017, to the defendant, and attributed the one-year delay after 2017 to both the defendant and the prosecution. However, Judge Hartwell attributed the 21-month delay from September 2018 to June 2020 to the prosecution and found the presumption of prejudice to the defendant was not rebutted. Judge Hartwell noted that the “prosecution knew defendant was incarcerated in Arizona, attempted extradition, refused to extradite defendant when given the chance, then did nothing.”

The defendant was represented by attorney Kristina Dunne. People v. Terry Louis Nimmons, Case No. 12H-0056-FY. A copy of the opinion is available online at

by Neil Leithauser
Associate Editor