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Robinson v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

October 2, 2019

Walter Robinson, Appellant,
v.
The State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Lower Tribunal No. 14-28334, Jose L. Fernandez, Judge.

          Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Susan S. Lerner, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Christina L. Dominguez, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Before FERNANDEZ, MILLER, and GORDO, JJ.

          MILLER, J.

         Appellant, Walter Robinson, challenges his conviction for possession of a firearm by a violent career criminal, in violation of section 790.235, Florida Statutes (2019). On appeal, he assigns error to the denial by the lower tribunal of his motion for discharge following his demand for speedy trial. For the reasons set forth below, we discern no error and affirm.

         FACTS AND LOWER COURT PROCEEDINGS

         On June 6, 2017, following legions of trial delays, at least four of which were solely attributable to the defense, Robinson filed a demand for speedy trial under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.191(b). The lower court scheduled trial to commence in mid-July, 2017.

         On June 16, 2017, the State obtained court-ordered buccal swabs from Robinson. During the week immediately preceding the trial, the State disclosed that a DNA comparison between Robinson's swabs and a serological specimen recovered from gloves discovered in the proximity of the crime scene yielded a match. The State further filed a motion to extend the speedy trial period, citing the unavailability of a critical witness due to an unexpected and serious medical condition.

         On the scheduled trial date, both the prosecution and defense appeared before the court and sought a continuance. The defense articulated its desire for a delay was premised upon its need to depose the DNA analyst. The State again advanced the unavailability of its necessary witness. In response, the defense proposed a stipulation as to the substance of the proffered testimony of the witness. The State declined to accept the offer.

         The lower tribunal continued the case, finding that a defense continuance was warranted, and regardless, an extension of the speedy trial period was justified. On August 4, 2017, Robinson filed a notice of expiration of speedy trial. The court struck the notice and, on August 23, 2017, Robinson filed a motion for final discharge. The motion was denied, and on September 5, 2017, a jury was impaneled, but later discharged due to a forecasted hurricane.[1]

         The case eventually proceeded to trial, and following a jury determination of guilt, Robinson was sentenced to a term of twenty years of incarceration. The instant appeal ensued.

         LEGAL ...


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