Defendant Never Notified about Charges More than 6 Years Ago – Judge Refuses to Dismiss Despite Precedent

By Stephanie Boulos

SACRAMENTO, CA – In a case here Monday in Sacramento County Superior Court, a man argued that he was never personally advised—and even the prosecution agreed—that there was a warrant out for his arrest more than six years ago.

And his public defender argued that prejudiced him, citing precedent cases.

But that was not good enough for Judge Laurie Earl, who refused to dismiss a case against Kameron Rowe.

Assistant Public Defender Allison Williams motioned to dismiss this case, citing the defendant’s right to a speedy trial and how that right has been violated in the six years that have passed since the warrant was issued. Rowe was sent a warrant to the address of his parents by the court in 2015 about one of his two pending cases.

The PD argued that under both the federal and state constitutions, Rowe’s right to a speedy trial has been triggered and violated, since the complaint was filed in 2015.

Citing Doggett v. United States, PD Williams noted that in the 1992 case, the court held that where a delay is uncommonly long, the court will presume prejudice to the defendant in the case. Doggett v. United States set the precedent with a case that had an eight-year-long delay, while in this case, it was over six years.

Although a warrant of arrest was issued to his parents’ address, there was no indication that the warrant was sent to the defendant’s own house in Kansas City, and no indication that the defendant was aware of the charges against him.

Rowe was never pursued further after this notice was issued, as acknowledged by both Deputy District Attorney Jordan Avey and PD Williams.

Like in Doggett v. United States, PD Williams noted the defendant was only in Kansas, a few states over, and could have been located fairly easily.

Finally the PD attempted to establish the prejudice against the defendant in this case by saying “criminal defendants make horrible witnesses anyways.. And the lapse of time in this matter makes it very difficult to question the defendant.”

DDA Jordan Avey began her rebuttal by arguing “although the length of time is about six and a half years I would say it’s not a short amount of time but it’s not the longest amount of time.”

The DDA added the other factors in this case, besides the passage of time, matter enough to not dismiss this case.

DDA Avey acknowledged that his parents received the warrant and didn’t send it back as undeliverable which, therefore, Avey said, makes it hard to believe that the defendant was completely unaware of the charges against him.

Additionally, the DDA claims that the defendant didn’t suffer any prejudice due to the delay in time, with both police officers still actively working, and the victim willing to testify.

Interestingly enough, a surveillance recording from this incident is still booked in evidence, and a DNA semen sample that was taken at the scene, where the defendant allegedly ejaculated on the victim, positively matches the defendant.

After hearing both the DDA and the PD, Judge Laurie Earl found there was no prejudice established against the defendant due to the length, and the defendant should have known of the warrant.

Defendant Rowe’s case will be heard for a motion to consolidate on Sept. 7 out of Dept 63 at 8:30 a.m.

About The Author

I’m a second year Political Science and Philosophy major at UC Davis from Socal, hoping to pursue a career in law!

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