holding that the defendant “did not satisfy the statutory requirement that ... he be ‘present in court announcing ready for trial and requesting a trial on the indictment,’ ” which the court said needed to occur “at some point during the first two regular terms of court following the filing of his demand”Summary of this case from Walker v. State
DECIDED OCTOBER 16, 1995.
Murder. Clarke Superior Court. Before Judge Stephens.
Cook, Noell, Tolley Aldridge, Edward D. Tolley, Ronald E. Houser, for appellant.
Harry N. Gordon, District Attorney, Richard L. Dickson, Assistant District Attorney, Michael J. Bowers, Attorney General, for appellee.
The appellant, Frankie Burns, was arrested for murder and armed robbery in January of 1993. In May of 1994 Burns filed a demand for a speedy trial pursuant to OCGA § 17-7-171. On January 20, 1995, Burns, who has been incarcerated since his arrest, filed a motion contending that he was entitled to be acquitted on the charges filed against him because the state had failed to comply with his demand for a speedy trial within the time required by § 17-7-171 (b) and because the state's delay in bringing him to trial violated the speedy trial protections of the United States and Georgia constitutions. The trial court denied the motion, and Burns filed this appeal. We affirm.
We find no merit to Burns's demand for acquittal under § 17-7-171 (b), as Burns did not satisfy the statutory requirement that, at some point during the first two regular terms of court following the filing of his demand, he be "present in court announcing ready for trial and requesting a trial on the indictment." Although Burns's case did not appear on a trial calendar during the first two regular terms following the term in which the demand was filed, Burns was nevertheless required to comply with the foregoing statutory requirement either through his own actions or those of his attorney. Moreover, having considered the appropriate factors, we hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ruling that Burns's constitutional right to a speedy trial has not been violated. Finally, as for Burns's contention that his pre-trial incarceration amounts to an unconstitutional punishment under the rationale of Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 ( 99 S.C. 1861, 60 L.Ed.2d 447) (1979), we note that this issue was not raised below and may not be raised for the first time on appeal. Judgment affirmed. All the Justices concur.
§ 17-7-171 (b). See Rice v. State, 264 Ga. 846 ( 452 S.E.2d 492) (1995); Smith v. State, 261 Ga. 298, 299, n. 3 ( 404 S.E.2d 115) (1991); Dennis v. Grimes, 216 Ga. 671, 672-673 (3) ( 118 S.E.2d 923) (1961).