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Dominique Dontae Lasker v. The State of Texas
Case Number: NOS. 01-18-00046-CR & 01-18-00047-CR
Judge: Russell Lloyd
Court: Court of Appeals For The First District of Texas
Plaintiff's Attorney: Warren Diepraam
Defendant's Attorney: Shane Phelps
On January 27, 2011, appellant was indicted by a Waller County grand jury
for capital murder (for two murders committed during the same criminal transaction)
and two counts of murder alleged to have been committed on March 11, 2010. At
the time of the indictments, appellant was in the custody of federal correctional
authorities in the Southern District of California, charged with “armed bank robbery
and aiding and abetting” (Count 1) and “use and carrying of a firearm during the
commission of a crime of violence, aiding and abetting” (Count 2).
Appellant pleaded guilty to both federal counts and, on December 16, 2011,
he was convicted and sentenced to 37 months on Count 1 and 84 months on Count
2, with the sentences to run consecutively, for a total sentence of 121 months.
Following his convictions, appellant was incarcerated at the Federal Correctional
Complex in Victorville, California.
Waller County subsequently filed detainers1 against appellant. In July 2012,
appellant submitted his first request for final disposition of the Waller County
indictments to the Waller County District Clerk and Waller County Criminal District
Attorney (“first request”). The request included documents entitled “Notice and
Demand to District Attorney/Prosecutor for Trial or Disposition of Warrants,
Informations, Detainers, or Indictments by Federal Prisoner” and “Notice of Place
of Imprisonment and Request for Speedy Trial and Final Disposition.” The Waller
County District Attorney’s Office received appellant’s request on July 19, 2012. On
December 13, 2012, appellant filed a pro se motion to dismiss the Waller County
indictments against him for violation of the IADA.
On January 2, 2013, the State of Texas requested temporary custody of
appellant from the federal prison authorities in California. Federal authorities
acknowledged receipt of the State’s request on January 31, 2013.
It is undisputed that, on February 8, 2013, the Waller County Criminal District
Attorney’s Office received appellant’s second request for final disposition of the
indictments, this time sent by the federal correctional complex warden via registered
1 “A detainer is a request by a criminal justice agency that is filed with the institution in which a prisoner is incarcerated, asking that the prisoner be held for the agency, or that the agency be advised when the prisoner’s release is imminent.” Fex v. Michigan, 507 U.S. 43, 44 (1993); State v. Votta, 299 S.W.3d 130, 135 (Tex. Crim. App. 2009).
mail, return receipt requested (“second request”). The second request included
documents entitled “IAD—Placement of Imprisonment,” “IAD—Certificate of
Inmate Status,” and “IAD—Offer to Deliver Temporary Custody.” On April 10,
2013, appellant filed a second pro se motion to dismiss the indictments against him
for violation of the IADA.
Appellant was returned to Waller County on May 24, 2013. On June 4, 2013,
appellant first appeared in Waller County district court and the trial court appointed
counsel to represent him. At the conclusion of the hearing, the case was not reset.
The court merely instructed that appellant be returned to custody. That same day,
the trial court signed an order appointing the Regional Public Defender for Capital
Cases to represent appellant. Two days later, the trial court appointed Frank Blazek
to represent appellant.
On August 30, 2013, the State filed its first motion for continuance. In its
motion, the State indicated its intent seek the death penalty.
On September 9, 2013, appellant filed his third motion to dismiss the
indictments, contending that the cases should be dismissed under the IADA and his
federal constitutional right to a speedy trial. That same day, the trial court heard
appellant’s motion to dismiss and the State’s motion for continuance. At the
conclusion of the hearing, the trial court granted the State’s motion:
Well, I think I owe it to you for clarity right now to give you the grounds that as a preliminary ruling. I am using Article 4 of IADA to grant the
State’s Request for the Continuance because I do find good grounds. And that good grounds being the delay in getting Mr. Lasker back here; the seriousness of the charges against him; the availability of him being provided adequate and proper counsel; the complexity that has been represented to me of this case. And for all those reasons and there may well be further reasons upon study of this, I do find we have the good grounds that would be found under Article 4 for the Continuance.
The trial court stated that it would take appellant’s motion to dismiss under
advisement. Later that day, the trial court signed a scheduling order setting
November 4, 2013 to hear motions and pleas and a jury trial on February 24, 2014.
On October 30, 2013, appellant filed his first amended motion to dismiss. In
the motion, appellant cited both his initial Article III request received on July 19,
2012, and his second Article III request received on February 8, 2013, asserting that
180 days had passed since receipt of both requests. Appellant also argued that he
had not sought any delay in the cases, and that the trial court had not found that good
cause existed for any delay prior to the expiration of 180 days.
At the November 4, 2013 hearing, the parties discussed the filing of
appellant’s first amended motion to dismiss, agreed to submit factual stipulations to
the trial court, and discussed the scheduling of pretrial matters. Following the
hearing, the trial court entered a new scheduling order setting pretrial hearings but
leaving the February 24, 2014 jury trial setting in place.
At a hearing held on February 11, 2014, the parties argued appellant’s first
amended motion to dismiss and agreed to numerous stipulations regarding the facts
and timeline of events relevant to appellant’s motion. The hearing concluded and
the February 24, 2014 jury trial setting remained in place.
Trial did not occur on February 24, 2014. On April 4, 2014, the trial court
issued a new scheduling order setting the case for a preferential jury trial setting on
March 30, 2015.
On July 2, 2014, the trial court signed an order denying appellant’s motion to
dismiss for violations of the IADA with the handwritten notation “although ruled on
March 11, 2014.” On July 11, 2014, appellant’s trial counsel sent a letter to the trial
court, with a copy to the State, forwarding appellant’s motion to dismiss. The letter
and motion stated that appellant was seeking dismissal of the indictments against
him based on violations of both the 120-day and 180-day periods under the IADA.
On July 15, 2014, the trial court signed an order denying appellant’s motion to
Trial did not occur on March 30, 2015. The case was reset three more times
over the next two and a half years. The record does not reflect that either party filed
a continuance prior to any of those settings.
On May 16, 2017, the State filed its first trial motion for continuance. The
trial court granted the State’s motion for continuance and reset the trial to October
On October 2, 2017, appellant pleaded guilty to the two murder charges.
Pursuant to a plea agreement with the State, appellant was sentenced to forty-five
years’ confinement, to run concurrently with his federal sentence. The trial court
granted appellant the right to appeal the denial of his IADA motions to dismiss.
In his first point of error, appellant contends that the trial court erred in
denying his motion to dismiss for violation of the IADA because the State failed to
bring him to trial within 180 days after he triggered Article III of the Act. In his
second point of error, appellant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion
to dismiss because the State failed to bring him to trial within 120 days after he was
received in Waller County as required by Article IV of the Act.
A. Standard of Review
We review de novo a trial court’s ruling on a motion to dismiss pursuant to
the IADA and the question as to whether there has been compliance with the Act’s
requirements. See Arthur Alexander Office v. State, 563 S.W.3d 457, 463 (Tex.
App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2018, pet. ref’d); Kirvin v. State, 394 S.W.3d 550, 555
(Tex. App.—Dallas 2011, no pet.). Any factual findings underlying that decision
are reviewed under a clearly erroneous standard. Walker v. State, 201 S.W.3d 841,
845 (Tex. App.—Waco 2006, pet. ref’d); State v. Miles, 101 S.W.3d 180, 183 (Tex.
App.—Dallas 2003, no pet.).
B. Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act
The IADA is a congressionally sanctioned compact between the United States
and the states that have adopted it. See Alabama v. Bozeman, 533 U.S. 146, 148
(2001); State v. Chestnut, 424 S.W.3d 213, 214 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2014, no
pet.). It “outlines the cooperative procedure between the states to be used when one
state is seeking to try a prisoner who is currently imprisoned in a penal or
correctional institution of another state.”2 State v. Votta, 299 S.W.3d 130, 134–35
(Tex. Crim. App. 2009). Texas is a party to the IADA and has codified the IADA’s
provisions in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC.
ANN. art. 51.14; Votta, 299 S.W.3d at 134–35.
The IADA’s purpose is to “encourage the expeditious and orderly disposition
of [outstanding] charges and determination of the proper status of any and all
detainers based on untried indictments, informations, or complaints,” based on the
rationale that such charges and detainers “produce uncertainties which obstruct
programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation.” TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art.
51.14, art. I. Article IX mandates that the IADA “shall be liberally construed so as
to effectuate its purposes.” Id. art. IX.
2 “State” as used in the IADA includes the United States. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 51.14, art. II(a); 18 U.S.C. App. 2, § 2 (enacting IADA).
Under the IADA, the prosecuting authority seeking to try an individual who
is incarcerated in another state’s institution must file a detainer with the institution
in the state where the individual is being held. See id. art. III(a); Votta, 299 S.W.3d
at 135. Once the detainer is filed, the warden or other official who has custody of
the prisoner must promptly inform the prisoner that a detainer has been filed against
him and that he has the right to request a final disposition of the pending charges
upon which the detainer is based. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 51.14, art. III(c);
Votta, 299 S.W.3d at 135. The IADA’s central provisions are Articles III and IV.
In re Dacus, 337 S.W.3d 501, 504 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2011, no pet.).
1. Article III
Article III provides the procedure for a prisoner in one state to request a
speedy or “final” disposition of the charges underlying the detainer lodged by
another state. See id. at 504–05 (citing TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 51.14, art. III).
To invoke the IADA, the prisoner must “cause to be delivered to the prosecuting
officer and the appropriate court of the prosecuting officer’s jurisdiction written
notice of the place of his imprisonment and his request for a final disposition” of the
charges against him. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 51.14, art. III(a), (b); Votta, 299
S.W.3d at 135. The defendant’s written notice and request for final disposition must
be accompanied by a certificate from the custodial official stating (1) the defendant’s
term of commitment, (2) the time already served, (3) the time remaining to be served,
(4) the amount of good time earned, (5) the date of parole eligibility, and (6) any
decision of the parole agency regarding the defendant. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art.
51.14, art. III(a); Votta, 299 S.W.3d at 135.
A prisoner may comply with the statutory requirements by either (1)
delivering his IADA request to the warden where he is imprisoned to be forwarded
with the required certificate to the court and prosecuting attorney of the state which
lodged the detainer against him, by regular mail or certified mail, return receipt
requested,3 or (2) delivering his request directly to the court and the prosecuting
attorney of that state. Arthur Alexander, 563 S.W.3d at 463; Walker, 201 S.W.3d at
846; see TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 51.14, art. III(b). When a prisoner delivers the
request for disposition to the warden where he is incarcerated for the purpose of
forwarding it to the State that issued the detainer, “then the prisoner’s ‘only
obligation [i]s to show that he notified the appropriate [prison] officials of his desire
to [be transferred].’” Arthur Alexander, 563 S.W.3d at 463 (quoting Walker, 201
S.W.3d at 846) (internal quotations omitted). “Conversely, if the prisoner decides
to deliver his transfer request directly to the court and prosecuting attorney of the
other state, he is personally responsible to see that the notice is sent by registered or
certified mail, return receipt requested, to those authorities.” Id. (quoting Walker,
3 The requirement for registered or certified mail provides documentary evidence of the date on which the request is delivered to the prosecuting officer. See Fex, 507 U.S. at 51.
201 S.W.3d at 846). The IADA specifically places the duty of notifying the
appropriate prosecuting officer and court on a defendant. Lindley v. State, 33 S.W.3d
926, 930 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2000, pet. ref’d). If the prisoner complies with all
the requirements of article 51.14, he must be brought to trial in the state where
charges are pending “within 180 days from the date on which the prosecuting officer
and the appropriate court receive” the written request, provided that for good cause
the court may grant any reasonable or necessary continuance. Votta, 299 S.W.3d at
135 (citing TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 51.14, art. III(a)).
2. Article IV
Article IV provides the procedure for a prosecutor in a state to request
temporary custody of a prisoner in another state for disposition of the pending
charges in his state. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 51.14, art. IV(a). Article IV(c)
states that “trial shall be commenced within 120 days of the arrival of the prisoner
in the receiving state, but for good cause shown . . . the court having jurisdiction of
the matter may grant any necessary or reasonable continuance.” Id. art. IV(c). The
penalty for failing to meet the deadlines of the IADA is severe. If a case is not
brought to trial within the applicable Article III or Article IV time period, the court
where the indictment is pending “shall enter an order dismissing the same with
prejudice . . . .” Id. art. 51.14, art. V(c); see State v. Williams, 938 S.W.2d 456, 459
(Tex. Crim. App. 1997) (stating IADA “requires a dismissal of the prosecution from
the docket, with prejudice, if the Act’s time limits are not met”).
C. Dismissal Under Article III
Appellant contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss
for violation of the IADA because the State failed to bring him to trial within 180
days after he properly triggered Article III. Appellant asserts that while his first
Article III request was possibly ineffective, his second request to invoke its
provisions was successful. The State argues that both of appellant’s requests failed
to strictly comply with Article III. It further asserts that, even if appellant complied,
the trial court continued the case for good cause, thereby tolling the 180-day period
under Article III.
1. Appellant’s First Request
The record reflects that appellant sent a request for final disposition of the
indictments against him to the Waller County district clerk and the Waller County
district attorney in July 2012. His request included two documents—“Notice and
Demand to District Attorney/Prosecutor for Trial or Disposition of Warrants,
Informations, Detainers, or Indictments by Federal Prisoner” and “Notice of Place
of Imprisonment and Request for Speedy Trial and Final Disposition.” The
documents were filed with the Waller County district clerk’s office on July 16, 2012,
and the Waller County district attorney’s office received them on July 19, 2012.
When appellant directly notified Waller County officials of his request for a
final disposition, he assumed responsibility to ensure that the request included the
proper information and was sent properly. See Walker, 201 S.W.3d at 846 (“[I]f the
prisoner decides to deliver his transfer request directly to the court and prosecuting
attorney of the other state, he is personally responsible to see that the notice is sent
by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to those authorities.”). The
State asserts—and appellant does not dispute—that appellant’s July 2012 request (1)
was not forwarded to the Waller County district attorney and Waller County district
court through the federal prison warden or other custodial official, (2) did not include
a certificate from the federal prison official who had custody of appellant, and (3)
was not sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. See TEX. CODE
CRIM. PROC. art. 51.14, art. III(b). Because his first request failed to comply with
the requirements of the IADA, appellant did not trigger the 180-day period under
Article III. See Huff v. State, 467 S.W.3d 11, 25–26 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015,
pet. ref’d) (concluding trial court properly denied motion to dismiss because
defendant did not comply with IADA requirements when he failed to send his
request by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or include certificate
with required information, so that 180-day deadline never began); State v. Garcia,
361 S.W.3d 244, 246 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2012, no pet.) (reversing order
dismissing indictments because defendant did not comply with IADA requirements
when he failed to provide certificate and required information so that “the 180 day
timeline remain[ed] dormant”).
2. Appellant’s Second Request
Appellant contends that his second request for final disposition of the Waller
County indictments complied with the IADA and, therefore, the State was required
to bring him to trial within 180 days of its receipt of his second request, i.e., by
August 7, 2013.
The record reflects that appellant sent this Article III request for final
disposition through the warden of the federal correctional facility in which he was
incarcerated and by registered mail, return receipt requested. There is no dispute
that this request, which included forms entitled “IAD – Placement of Imprisonment,”
“IAD – Certificate of Inmate Status,” and “IAD – Offer to Deliver Temporary
Custody,” was received by the Waller County district attorney on February 8, 2013.
The certificate of inmate status included the term of appellant’s federal sentence
(“121 months”), the time he had already served as of the filling out of the certificate
(“1 year 3 months 4 days”), the time remaining to be served (“6 years 6 months 15
days”), the amount of good time earned (“108”), and the maximum expiration date
under the sentence (“11-29-2020”).
The State acknowledges that appellant’s second request properly included all
relevant documentation, including a certificate from the appropriate custodial
official, and that it was sent by registered mail, return receipt requested. It
nevertheless argues that appellant failed to strictly comply with Article III because
the certificate did not include the date of appellant’s parole eligibility and any
decisions of the United States Parole Commission relating to appellant. Although it
accepts appellant’s contention that he is not eligible for federal parole,4 the State
argues that “it cannot be presumed to know [f]ederal parole law” and that “the forms
could have included a simple ‘n/a’” instead of being left blank.
Appellant’s second Article III request was forwarded to the Waller County
district attorney through the warden of the federal correctional facility where
appellant was incarcerated. It was the federal correctional authorities, not appellant,
who filled out the certificate of inmate status. Federal courts have recognized that
“strict compliance” with Article III is not necessarily required when the prisoner
forwards his Article III request through the appropriate custodial authorities. See,
e.g., Norton v. Parke, 892 F.2d 476, 481 (6th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1060
(1990) (recognizing exception to rule requiring strict compliance with IADA where
prisoner has done everything possible to comply with IADA and custodial state is
responsible for prisoner’s default); Casper v. Ryan, 822 F.2d 1283, 1293 (3rd Cir.
4 With exceptions not relevant here, the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 abolished federal parole for persons convicted under federal law after November 1, 1987. Lightsey v. Kastner, 846 F.2d 329, 331–32 (5th Cir. 1988). Appellant was convicted of the federal charges in 2011.
1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1012 (1988) (“Strict compliance with Article III may
not be required when the prisoner has done everything possible, and it is the custodial
state that is responsible for the default.”); see also Lara v. Johnson, 141 F.3d 239,
243 (5th Cir. 1998) (“[W]e are not implying or stating that nothing short of strict and
literal compliance with each and every IAD provision is absolutely necessary to
sufficiently notify a state’s prosecutors of a request for trial.”).
Several Texas courts have reached a similar conclusion. In Walker v. State,
the Waco Court of Appeals held that the defendant had successfully invoked Article
III by forwarding his request to the warden of the facility in which he was being
held, explaining that “[i]f the prisoner delivers the transfer request to the warden
where he is incarcerated for forwarding, then the prisoner’s ‘only obligation [i]s to
show that he notified the appropriate [prison] officials of his desire to [be
transferred].’” 201 S.W.3d at 846 (quoting Burton v. State, 805 S.W.2d 564, 575
(Tex. App.—Dallas 1991, pet. ref’d)). In State v. Chestnut, the Texarkana Court of
Appeals concluded that a federal prisoner who was incarcerated in Oregon at the
time of his indictment in Texas had complied with the requirements of the IADA,
despite the fact that the warden of the Oregon prison had failed to ensure that the
request for final disposition was received by the court. 424 S.W.3d at 215–17. The
court held that the defendant had “met his only obligation under Article III” when
he delivered his IADA request to the warden in proper form. See id. at 217.
Here, it is undisputed that appellant delivered his second Article III request to
the appropriate federal correctional authorities in proper form. Accordingly,
appellant met his only obligation under Article III of the IADA. See Chestnut, 424
S.W.3d at 217; Walker, 201 S.W.3d at 846.
The State contends that appellant’s request for dismissal under Article III was
properly denied for another reason. It argues that the trial court granted two
continuances—one on June 4, 2013 and a second one on September 9, 2013—and
these continuances tolled the 180-day period under Article III.
The record reflects that appellant first appeared in court on June 4, 2013. At
the hearing, the trial court told appellant “what we are here to do today is primarily
make sure that you have representation.” The trial court then informed appellant
that he would be assigned a two-person capital defense team from the Regional
Capital Defender’s Project. The trial court signed an order appointing counsel the
It is the State’s position that the trial court, at appellant’s request, reset the
case at the June 4, 2013 hearing so that appellant could be appointed counsel to
represent him. The State asserts that “[a] court has no real choice but to grant a
reasonable and necessary continuance as part and parcel of appointing counsel, per
the Defendant’s request, in a capital murder prosecution in which the death penalty
is on the table.”5 The State concludes that “[i]t appears plain that the judge granted
a necessary continuance as part of this hearing” until the next hearing on September
9, 2013, thereby tolling the 180-day period until the September 9, 2013 hearing.
The IADA is a congressionally sanctioned interstate compact subject to
federal construction. See New York v. Hill, 528 U.S. 110, 111 (2000). The Fifth
Circuit’s analysis in Birdwell v. Skeen is instructive. In that case, during a hearing
on the defendant’s motion to dismiss the indictment against him for violation of his
right to a speedy trial, the State requested a continuance so that it could determine
whether it needed the testimony of its investigator who was unavailable. See
Birdwell, 983 F.2d 1332, 1334 (5th Cir. 1993). The district court granted a one-week
continuance; however, the hearing did not reconvene until three weeks later without
an explanation for the delay. See id.
Noting the “unique” nature of continuances under the IADA, the Fifth Circuit
The IADA sets forth five distinct requirements for obtaining such a continuance. First, the court must have competent jurisdiction. Second, the grant of the continuance must be in open court. Third, the defendant and/or his attorney must be present. Fourth, the movant must demonstrate good cause in open court, and finally, the length of the continuance must be reasonable or necessary.
5 The State cites no legal authority in support of this assertion.
Id. at 1336 & n.9 (“[U]nless [a] continuance compl[ies] with the IADA
requirements, [it] will not toll the speedy trial period.”). The court held that the
continuance granted by the district court lasted only for one week, and that the
additional two-week unexplained delay did not meet the criteria for an additional
continuance under the IADA. See id. at 1339. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district
court’s order vacating the defendant’s conviction because the State did not comply
with the requirements of the IADA. See id. at 1341.
Here, the more than three months between the June 4, 2013 hearing and the
September 9, 2013 hearing failed to comply with the IADA continuance
requirements in several respects. Neither the State nor appellant asserted any motion
for continuance, either written or oral, and the trial court did not grant a continuance
in open court. In fact, the word “continuance” does not appear anywhere in the
reporter’s record of the hearing.6 The purpose of the hearing, as the trial court
advised appellant, was to ensure that appellant had representation. Once that
purpose was accomplished, the trial court adjourned the hearing and signed an order
that same day, and there was no finding, or even reference to, good cause for any
continuance. And, contrary to the State’s assertion, appellant did not request a reset
6 Because neither party moved for a continuance and the trial court did not grant one, it follows that there was no demonstration of good cause in open court. See Birdwell v. Skeen, 983 F.2d 1332, 1336 (5th Cir. 1993) (stating third requirement of continuance under IADA is that movant must demonstrate good cause in open court).
but, instead, repeatedly requested that his motions to dismiss be heard. The trial
court did not take up appellant’s motions. Cf. Morganfield v. State, 919 S.W.2d 731,
735 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1996, no pet.) (concluding that 120-day provision
under Article IV was not tolled where no request for continuance from either party
or any agreed resetting appeared in record).
The IADA mandates that the agreement “be liberally construed so as to
effectuate its purposes.” Birdwell, 983 F.2d at 1339 (noting purpose of IADA is “to
provide for the expeditious disposition of outstanding charges against persons
imprisoned in other jurisdictions”). It is clear that, under this mandate, a silent record
is counted against the State. As the Birdwell court explained:
If the speedy trial period could be tolled by unexplained extensions of continuances simply because the record fails to attribute them to the prosecution, the speedy trial provision would, in effect, be rendered a nullity. For a trial court could grant a one-week continuance, but not reconvene for weeks or months. And although no party had demonstrated good cause for the additional postponement in open court and in the presence of the defendant and/or his attorney, not one day of that “super-continuance” would count in the speedy trial computation. We believe that such a rule would not only render the explicit continuance requirements surplusage, but would also encourage prosecutors to obtain ex parte continuances and “busy district courts” to grant sua sponte continuances. Such clever maneuvering around the IADA provisions would thwart the purposes of the IADA and chisel away defendants’ rights to a speedy trial under the agreement.
Id. at 1339 (emphasis in original). See also Johnson v. Stagner, 781 F.2d 758, 763
n.8 (9th Cir. 1986) (determining that “responsibility for undocumented continuances
cannot simply be imputed to a defendant”); Stroble v. Anderson, 587 F.2d 830, 839–
40 (6th Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 440 U.S. 940 (1979) (stating that informal methods
of granting continuances are inconsistent with requirements of IADA); United States
v. Ford, 550 F.2d 732, 743 (2d Cir. 1977), aff’d 436 U.S. 340 (1978) (noting that
defendant’s “speedy trial rights may be whittled away in the non-adversary context
of ex parte communications between the government and the court”). We must
emphasize, again, that the IADA is “a federal law subject to federal construction.”
Hill, 528 U.S. at 111.
The 180-day period ran without interruption from February 8, 2013, the day
the Waller County district attorney received appellant’s second IADA request, until
August 7, 2013. Because the State failed to bring appellant to trial before the
180-day period expired, we hold that the trial court erred in denying appellant’s
motion to dismiss for violation of Article III of the IADA. Accordingly, we sustain
appellant’s first point of error.7
Outcome: We reverse the trial court’s judgments in cause numbers 11-01-13704 and 11
01-13705 and remand the causes to the trial court with instructions to dismiss the
indictments with prejudice.