Caton v. State

In Caton v. State, 709 P.2d 1260 (Wyo. 1985), the initial information against Caton was filed on July 19, 1983. Ultimately, due to some confusion regarding what charges should be brought against Caton, three different informations were filed against him. The trial was finally held on August 29, 1984. Caton, 709 P.2d at 1263. Caton appealed, alleging in part that he was denied a speedy trial. The Court initially noted that the speedy trial calculation was not affected by the fact that the State changed the charges against Caton during the course of the formal criminal prosecution. In response to argument by the State, this Court reaffirmed that the speedy trial period begins to run upon the filing of formal charges and continues to run during the entire time the defendant remains under charge. If one charge is dismissed and supplanted by a different charge, the time the defendant is under either charge will be tacked as long as the different charges relate to the same criminal act. Id. at 1264. At one point, while awaiting trial, the State dismissed its then current information against Caton and did not file a new information against Caton until two days later. The Court considered only the time that Caton was under formal charge, excluding from its speedy trial calculation the two-day period when no charges were pending against him. Id. at 1264. The result was that the Court, in its speedy trial calculation, considered the period of time from the filing of the initial information up until the dismissal of the first two informations. The Court then excluded the two-day time period from that dismissal until the filing of the third information. With the filing of the third information, the Court resumed its calculation and considered the time period between the filing of the third information and trial.