Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of Boone County, Missouri. The
Honorable Jodi C. Asel, Judge.
Cynthia L. Martin, Presiding Judge, Victor C. Howard, Judge
and Thomas H. Newton, Judge
CYNTHIA L. MARTIN, JUDGE.
James Juniel ("Juniel") appeals his convictions
after a jury trial of statutory rape in the first degree,
statutory sodomy in the first degree, and endangering the
welfare of a child in the first degree. Juniel contends that
the trial court erred in overruling his motion to dismiss
based on a violation of his right to a speedy trial under
article I, sections 10 and 18(a) of the Missouri
Constitution, and the Sixth and Fourteenth amendments to the
United States Constitution. Finding no error, we affirm.
and Procedural History
15, 2015, Juniel was charged by indictment with statutory
rape in the first degree, statutory sodomy in the first
degree, and endangering the welfare of a child, in connection
with events that occurred between 2011 and 2015.
filed a motion for change of judge on June 18, 2015, which
was granted on June 22, 2015. On June 24, 2015, the State
filed its own motion for change of judge, and the case was
reassigned the following day. As a result of the change of
judge motions, the initial trial date of August 4, 2015 was
reset to October 28, 2015.
August 27, 2015, the State filed a notice of intent to admit
out-of-court statements pursuant to section 491.075,
which required the trial court to conduct a hearing to
determine the admissibility of the statements ("491
hearing"). The State concurrently filed a motion to
compel Juniel to provide a DNA sample. A hearing on the
motion to compel a DNA sample was scheduled for September 9,
2015, but was continued to September 21, 2015 when defense
counsel failed to appear. The motion to compel was sustained
on September 21, 2015.
filed a motion to continue the October 28, 2015 trial setting
because DNA test results were still pending, and because the
491 hearing had not yet been conducted. Juniel's motion
for continuance was granted on October 19, 2015. The case was
rescheduled for trial on January 26, 2016. A 491 hearing was
scheduled for January 8, 2016.
date for the 491 hearing approached, the State filed a motion
to continue the 491 hearing due to witness unavailability,
and a corresponding motion to continue the trial setting.
Juniel consented to both motions. Trial was rescheduled for
March 16, 2016.
March 4, 2016, Juniel filed a motion to continue the March
16, 2016 trial setting because the 491 hearing still had not
been conducted. Juniel's motion was granted, and the
trial was rescheduled to June 14, 2016. The 491 hearing was
scheduled for May 27, 2016, but was continued to August 11,
2016, due once again to witness unavailability. That required
yet another continuance of the trial setting to September 13,
meantime, Juniel's trial counsel withdrew on July 11,
2016. New trial counsel entered an appearance for Juniel on
July 13, 2106. On August 3, 2016, Juniel's new trial
counsel filed a motion to continue the September 13, 2016
trial date. Juniel's motion was granted, and the trial
was rescheduled to January 4, 2017, with the 491 hearing
scheduled the same day. That trial date was cancelled when
the 491 hearing had to be rescheduled to January 13, 2017.
The January 13, 2017 491 hearing was then cancelled by the
trial court when the threat of inclement weather caused the
courthouse to be closed. The 491 hearing was rescheduled to
February 24, 2017.
January 19, 2017, Juniel filed a request for a speedy trial.
Two days later, the court set a trial date of April 4, 2017.
The 491 hearing was conducted on February 24, 2017. The court
ruled the victim's out-of-court statements admissible on
March 2, 2017.
March 16, 2017, the State made an oral motion to continue the
April 4, 2017 trial date due to an attorney conflict. The
State's motion was granted, and trial was rescheduled for
June 13, 2017. Juniel did not object to this continuance.
5, 2017, the parties appeared before the trial court for a
guilty plea hearing, as Juniel had given notice that he
wished to enter a guilty plea. The trial court refused to
accept the guilty plea because Juniel refused to admit that
he committed the charged acts, and therefore, refused to
admit a sufficient factual basis for the plea.
trial court asked the State if it was prepared to proceed to
trial on June 13, 2017. The State advised that because it had
expected Juniel to plead guilty, it would not be prepared for
trial on June 13, 2017. The trial court advised that if the
State did not proceed to trial as scheduled, the case would
be dismissed for failure to prosecute, as Juniel had been in
jail for two and a half years. The State asked the trial
court to instead set the matter for pretrial the following
week. Juniel's counsel agreed with this request. The case
was set for pretrial on June 12, 2017.
8, 2017, Juniel filed a motion to dismiss for failure to
prosecute. On June 9, 2017, the State dismissed the case
against Juniel nolle prosequi. Juniel was
re-indicted on the same charges on June 16, 2017, and the
case was set for trial on September 26, 2017. Juniel filed a
motion to dismiss the charges for failure to prosecute based
on an alleged speedy trial violation. The motion to dismiss
was denied by the trial court after oral argument during a
September 22, 2017 pre-trial hearing.
commenced on September 26, 2017, and the jury convicted
Juniel on all counts. The trial court entered a judgment of
conviction and ...