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Appeal from the District Court of Williams County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable Joshua B. Rustad, Judge.
Nathan K. Madden, Assistant State's Attorney, Williston, N.D., for plaintiff and appellee.
Lee M. Grossman, Valley City, N.D., for defendant and appellant; submitted on brief.
Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers, Dale V. Sandstrom, Carol Ronning Kapsner, Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J. Opinion of the Court by McEvers, Justice.
[¶1] Billy Owens appeals from criminal judgments entered after a jury found him guilty of leading a criminal association to commit felonious acts and of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. We conclude Owens was not deprived of his right to a speedy trial, the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining the State did not violate the discovery requirements of N.D.R.Crim.P. 16, the evidence was sufficient to support the jury verdicts, and the prosecutor's comments to the jury during final argument did not constitute prosecutorial misconduct. We affirm.
[¶2] In a June 28, 2012 complaint, the State charged Owens with leading a criminal association for purposes of committing felonious acts under N.D.C.C. § 12.1-06.1-02 and with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault under N.D.C.C. § § 12.1-06-04(1) and 12.1-17-02 for allegedly agreeing with one or more individuals to inflict serious bodily injury on Kenneth Moore. According to the State, the charges for leading a criminal association stemmed from an alleged drug dealing operation by a group of individuals in the Williston area, which was led by Owens and included Moore, Dallas Wellard, and Paul Huckstep. The conspiracy charges stemmed from Owens allegedly offering a reward for an assault on Moore after a disagreement with him.
[¶3] On January 3, 2013, Owens filed a demand for a speedy trial under N.D.C.C. § 29-01-06 and an anticipated five-day jury trial was scheduled to begin on April 1, 2013. On March 12, 2013, the district court allowed Owens' court-appointed attorney to withdraw due to a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and granted Owens a continuance after informing him there was good cause for a trial outside the ninety-day speedy trial requirement of N.D.C.C. § 29-19-02. The court informed Owens the initial trial date had been set with " significant wiggling around of other court calendars" to comply with Owens' speedy trial request and Owens indicated he understood there was good cause for trial outside the ninety-day window. Another attorney was subsequently appointed to represent Owens, and in April 2013, the anticipated five-day jury trial was rescheduled to begin on October 7, 2013.
[¶4] In May 2013, Owens moved for reconsideration of his speedy trial claim, and on June 10, 2013, the court denied his motion. On June 27, 2013, Owens moved to dismiss the prosecution, claiming a violation of his right to ...