In re People v. Lucy and People v. Meresa.
2020 CO 68. No. 20SA120. CRS § 18-1-405(6)(g)(I)—Speedy Trial—Tolling—Contested Continuance Due to “Unavailability of Evidence Material to the State’s Case”—Public Health Crisis.
June 29, 2020
In this original proceeding, the Supreme Court considered whether a trial court may grant the prosecution’s contested request for a continuance with a tolling of the statutory speedy trial period based on a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court held that, absent a defendant’s consent, CRS § 18-1-405(6)(g)(I) authorizes a trial court to grant the prosecution a continuance with a tolling of the speedy trial period for up to six months if the prosecution establishes that (1) as a result of a public health crisis, evidence material to its case is unavailable; (2) it has exercised due diligence to obtain that evidence; and (3) there are reasonable grounds to believe that the unavailable evidence will be available on the new trial date. Because the county court erred, the Court made the rule to show cause absolute and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
CRS § 18-1-405(6)(g)(I), Speedy Trial, Tolling, Contested Continuance Due to “Unavailability of Evidence Material to the State’s Case”, Public Health Crisis