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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
BURNS v. THE STATE.
S95A1237.
SEARS, Justice.
Murder. Clarke Superior Court. Before Judge Stephens.
The appellant, Frankie Burns, was arrested for murder and armed robbery in January 1993. In May 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. 1 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." 2 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. 3 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. 4 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 SC 1861, 60 LE2d 447) (1979), we note that this issue was not raised below and may not be raised for the first time on appeal. 5
Harry N. Gordon, District Attorney, Richard L. Dickson, Assistant District Attorney, Michael J. Bowers, Attorney General, for appellee.
Notes
1  Although the order denying Burns's motion for acquittal was interlocutory, the order is directly appealable. Boseman v. State, 263 Ga. 730, n. 1 (438 SE2d 626) (1994).
2  OCGA 17-7-171 (b). See Rice v. State, 264 Ga. 846 (452 SE2d 492) (1995); Smith v. State, 261 Ga. 298, 299, n. 3 (404 SE2d 115) (1991); Dennis v. Grimes, 216 Ga. 671, 672-673 (3) (118 SE2d 923) (1961).
3  Smith, 261 Ga. at 299, n. 3; Dennis, 216 Ga. at 672-673.
4  Barker v. Wingo, 407 U. S. 514, 530 (92 SC 2182, 33 LE2d 101) (1972); Boseman v. State, 263 Ga. at 731-732 (1); Brown v. State, 264 Ga. 803, 805 (2) (450 SE2d 821) (1994).
5  Tanthongsack v. State, 265 Ga. 88 (1) (453 SE2d 468) (1995).
Cook, Noell, Tolley & Wiggins, Edward D. Tolley, Ronald E. Houser, for appellant.
DECIDED OCTOBER 16, 1995.
Thursday May 21 08:15 EDT


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