This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Maurice Lennell Weatherspoon,
Filed February 29, 2000
Dissenting, Amundson, Judge
St. Louis County District Court
File No. KX97600168
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Natalie E. Hudson, Assistant Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Alan L. Mitchell, St. Louis County Attorney, 100 North Fifth Avenue West, Suite 501, Duluth, MN 55802 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Scott Swanson, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414; and
John E. Connelly, Special Assistant State Public Defender, Faegre & Benson, LLP, 2200 Norwest Center, 90 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant challenges his convictions for first-degree sexual assault and terroristic threats. Appellant asserts that the district court lacked jurisdiction over his criminal trial because he made a formal request, as a detainee in another state, for a speedy trial pursuant to the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act, codified at Minn. Stat. § 629.294 (1998), but his trial was scheduled beyond the statutory time period. Appellant also asserts that the state failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the offenses for which he was convicted. We affirm.
Appellant Maurice Weatherspoon was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of terroristic threats in February 1997. While out on bond, Weatherspoon was arrested and incarcerated in Illinois. Weatherspoon filed a formal request for final disposition of his Minnesota case with the district court in Minnesota on February 12, 1998. Weatherspoon was brought into custody in Minnesota on June 30, 1998, and was arraigned on July 2, 1998.
At Weatherspoon’s arraignment, his counsel, in response to a question from the court, indicated Weatherspoon was not requesting a speedy trial. Weatherspoon’s trial commenced on September 1, 1998, but his request for a mistrial was granted on September 2, 1998. His second trial, which commenced on November 12, 1998, resulted in the jury convicting him on both counts on November 16, 1998.
D E C I S I O N
Weatherspoon contends the district court lacked jurisdiction to conduct the trial in his case because the state failed to bring him to trial within the time limit prescribed by the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act (IAD), codified at Minn. Stat. § 629.294 (1998). The construction of a statute is a question of law, subject to de novo review. Sorenson v. St. Paul Ramsey Med. Ctr., 457 N.W.2d 188, 190 (Minn. 1990).
The IAD is a compact among 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the United States. While it is a state law, it "is a law of the United States as well." Reed v. Farley, 512 U.S. 339, 347, 114 S. Ct. 2291, 2296 (1994). The IAD’s purpose is to require prompt disposition of outstanding charges in order to ensure the speedy trial of persons incarcerated in other jurisdictions. Carchman v. Nash, 473 U.S. 716, 720, 105 S. Ct. 3401, 3403 (1985); State v. Fuller, 560 N.W.2d 97, 98-99 (Minn. App. 1997), review denied (Minn. Apr. 27, 1997).
The IAD provides in relevant part:
Whenever a person has entered upon a term of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution of a party state, and whenever during the continuance of the term of imprisonment there is pending in any other party state any untried * * * complaint on the basis of which a detainer has been lodged against the prisoner, he shall be brought to trial within 180 days after he shall have caused to be delivered to the prosecuting officer and the appropriate court of the prosecuting officer’s jurisdiction * * * his request for a final disposition to be made of the * * * complaint.
Minn. Stat. § 629.294, Art. III(a). After receiving notice of the pending complaint in Minnesota, Weatherspoon completed a written request for formal disposition within the 180-day time period specified by Article III(a) of the IAD.
Weatherspoon contends that the only affirmative duty imposed on him by the IAD is that he make a written request to invoke the IAD pursuant to Article III. After he made his formal written request, Weatherspoon argues that: (1) he was under no obligation to remind the prosecution or the court of his request for disposition within the 180 days prescribed by the IAD; and (2) his conduct did not constitute a waiver of this right. We disagree and conclude that Weatherspoon waived his right to an IAD speedy trial.
The United States Supreme Court has recently held that a defendant implicitly waives the IAD’s time limits where his counsel agreed to a trial date outside the limits. New York v. Hill, 120 S. Ct. 659, 666 (2000) (stating that the time limits may be waived and there is no distinction between a "waiver proposed and a waiver agreed to"). Weatherspoon was arraigned before the 180-day period had expired. Importantly, it is undisputed that at Weatherspoon’s arraignment his counsel, in response to a question from the court, indicated Weatherspoon was not making a speedy trial demand. Further, when the district court later confirmed that no speedy trial demand had been made, neither Weatherspoon nor his counsel disagreed. Thus, although no specific trial date was scheduled at the arraignment, the representation by counsel that Weatherspoon was not seeking a speedy trial increased the likelihood that his trial would not be scheduled within the 180-day time period.
Moreover, Weatherspoon had multiple opportunities after the 180 days had expired to raise the issue of noncompliance with his IAD speedy trial demand. Instead he "accept[ed] treatment inconsistent with the IAD’s time limits," choosing to voice his objection only after he was convicted. Id. Jury trial was commenced on Weatherspoon’s case on September 1, 1998; 22 days after the 180-day period had expired. But Weatherspoon moved for a mistrial and his motion was granted on September 2, 1998. Weatherspoon’s request for a mistrial provided an opportunity to examine all the problems with his case, including the scheduling of his trial beyond the 180-day time limit, but he did not raise this issue. Weatherspoon had another opportunity to object to being tried outside the 180 days when a second jury trial was commenced in November 1998, but he did not do so. As the United States Supreme Court stated in Hill, when rejecting an argument that waiver of the IAD’s time limits requires explicit affirmative conduct:
We agree with the State that this makes dismissal of the indictment turn on a hypertechnical distinction that should play no part. As illustrated by this case, such an approach would enable defendants to escape justice by willingly accepting treatment inconsistent with the IAD’s time limits, and then recanting later on.
We conclude that like the defendant in Hill, Weatherspoon waived his right to a trial within 180 days of his request for final disposition by stating he was not seeking a speedy trial and then acquiescing to proceedings outside the time period required by the IAD.
Weatherspoon also contends the record lacks sufficient evidence for a jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes for which he was convicted. Reversal of a conviction for insufficiency of the evidence is rare and will occur only where we have "grave doubt as to defendant’s guilt." State v. Roberts, 350 N.W.2d 448, 451 (Minn. App. 1984) (quoting State v. Housley, 322 N.W.2d 746, 751 (Minn. 1982)). We must view the record in a light most favorable to the conviction and assume the jury believed the state’s witnesses and disbelieved any contrary evidence. State v. Moore, 438 N.W.2d 101, 108 (Minn. 1989).
We will not disturb the verdict if the jury, acting with due regard for the presumption of innocence and for the necessity of overcoming it by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, could reasonably conclude that a defendant was proven guilty of the offense charged.
State v. Alton, 432 N.W.2d 754, 756 (Minn. 1988). Finally, the jury determines the credibility of the testimony of individual witnesses. State v. Garrett, 479 N.W.2d 745, 747 (Minn. App. 1992), review denied (Minn. Mar. 19, 1992).
Weatherspoon was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.342, subd. 1(e)(i) (1996), and terroristic threats in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.713, subd. 1 (1996). Weatherspoon contends the record lacks sufficient evidence from which a jury could find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of causing personal injury to T.M.L. and using force or coercion to sexually penetrate T.M.L. as required by Minn. Stat. § 609.342, subd. 1(e)(i). Further, Weatherspoon contends that T.M.L.’s testimony, which supports his conviction, is of "dubious veracity." In a sexual assault case, the complainant’s testimony need not be corroborated. State v. Gamez, 494 N.W.2d 84, 86 (Minn. App. 1992), review denied (Minn. Feb. 23, 1993). But here the testimony of T.M.L.’s roommate and the physician who examined T.M.L corroborate T.M.L.’s testimony implicating Weatherspoon. See id. (noting that while defendant’s testimony conflicted with that of the victim, the victim’s testimony was credible where corroborated). Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the conviction, we conclude the evidence was sufficient to support Weatherspoon’s convictions.
AMUNDSON, Judge (dissenting)
The majority erroneously asserts Weatherspoon made no "speedy trial demand," but does not distinguish between a speedy trial demand under Minn. R. Crim. P. 11.10 and a timely trial under the IAD statute, Minn. Stat. § 629.294, which Weatherspoon relies on here. This is crucial. Weatherspoon complied with the IAD’s requirement that he make a formal demand for a timely trial. In fact, after he was notified of the pending complaint against him in Minnesota, Weatherspoon completed a written request for disposition of his case within the 180 days prescribed by the IAD.
Here, there was no forum for Weatherspoon to present his objection to the scheduling of the trial date beyond the 180-day time period until the actual day of trial. Unlike Hill, no trial date was explicitly agreed to or scheduled at Weatherspoon’s arraignment. It is absurd to suggest that Weatherspoon should assume the trial would be scheduled outside the federally mandated time stricture. A defendant is entitled to assume that the government and the courts will operate in compliance with the law. Certainly Hill does not require paranormal prescience on the part of the defendant.
Further, nothing was offered to Weatherspoon in trade for the right secured under the IAD and there is not a scintilla of evidence that the defendant benefited in any way by the delay. To the contrary, it can be assumed that an innocent person -- and we presume his innocence -- is disadvantaged by delay in trial.
It should be remembered that the most Weatherspoon could have accomplished at his arraignment would have been to duplicate his prior demand for a timely trial. But why? Do we assume that every appearance by a defendant is on a record tabula rasa? Does the court in Hill require that assumption? Such an assumption lays waste to the record of the case carefully preserved to obviate just this result.
I respectfully dissent. I would reverse.