Submitted on Briefs: November 8, 2018
District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, In and For the
County of Jefferson, Cause No. DC-2015-013 Honorable John C.
Brown, Presiding Judge.
Appellant: Jeremy S. Yellin, Attorney at Law, Havre, Montana
Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Roy
Brown, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana
Haddon, Jefferson County Attorney, Danielle Perry, Deputy
County Attorney, Boulder, Montana
McGrath, Chief Justice.
Brad M. Heath appeals from a March 27, 2017 Fifth Judicial
District Court order denying his motion to dismiss for lack
of speedy trial and from the admission of his blood alcohol
concentration into evidence. We affirm. ¶2 We restate
the issues on appeal as follows:
Did the District Court err when it denied Heath's motion
to dismiss for lack of speedy trial?
Did the District Court err when it admitted Heath's blood
alcohol concentration into evidence?
AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
Between the time Heath was arrested and charged and when the
jury trial occurred, 811 days elapsed.
On April 10, 2015, Heath was arrested and incarcerated for
driving under the influence of alcohol; he posted bond the
same day. On April 17, 2015, the State filed an information
charging Heath with driving under the influence of alcohol,
his fourth or subsequent offense, a felony in violation of
§ 61-8-401, MCA. Alternatively, the State charged Heath
with operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol
concentration ("BAC") of 0.08 or greater, his
fourth or subsequent offense, a felony in violation of §
61-8-406(1)(a), MCA. On April 22, 2015, Heath appeared before
the District Court and pleaded not guilty to both charges.
At the Omnibus Hearing on July 1, 2015, the District Court
set Heath's case for trial on November 9 and 10, 2015.
The final pretrial conference was set for October 13, 2015.
However, on September 29, 2015, Heath filed a motion to
continue the final pretrial conference and trial because he
no longer intended to accept a pending plea offer and because
he was awaiting the appointment of new counsel. The State did
not oppose the motion. On October 8, 2015, the District Court
entered an order continuing the trial to June 6, 2016, and
the final pretrial conference to May 16, 2016. New counsel
filed an appearance on October 16, 2015.
On May 10, 2016, Heath filed a second motion to continue the
trial and final pretrial conference. Heath claimed that he
needed additional time to prepare his defense, and asserted
that his employment schedule conflicted with the trial
setting. Heath represented to the District Court that the
State would not oppose his motion if Heath agreed to file a
waiver of speedy trial. Heath's motion stated, "a
Waiver of Speedy Trial for the purposes of this continuance
will be forthcoming." Heath did not file a subsequent
document. The District Court granted Heath's motion to
continue and the final pretrial conference and trial were
rescheduled to August 30, 2016, and September 29, 2016,
On July 11, 2016, Heath's counsel filed a motion to
withdraw, citing Heath's desire to proceed pro se. ...