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Kimble v. State

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

August 1, 2019

JERMAINE DANCER KIMBLE
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

          Circuit Court for Baltimore County Case No. 03-K-12-007003

          Nazarian, Arthur, Beachley, JJ.

          OPINION

          NAZARIAN, J.

         Jermaine Kimble was charged on November 9, 2012 with sexual abuse of a minor and related offenses. His trial was postponed several times, and the Circuit Court for Baltimore County eventually found him incompetent to stand trial.

         On November 13, 2017, Mr. Kimble filed a motion to dismiss the charges. He argued that Maryland Code, § 3-107(a) of the Criminal Procedure Article ("CP") requires dismissal when the defendant has been found incompetent to stand trial and more than five years have passed from the date the charges were filed. The circuit court denied Mr. Kimble's motion on the ground that the five-year time period runs from the date of the incompetency finding, not from the date the charges were filed, and that the time period had not yet elapsed. Mr. Kimble appeals, and we affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In June 2014-approximately two years after Mr. Kimble had been charged, and after his trial had been postponed twice while counsel had him evaluated-the circuit court ordered the Department of Health to evaluate his competency to stand trial. Based on the Department's report, the court on September 2, 2014 found Mr. Kimble incompetent to stand trial ("IST"), found him dangerous, and committed him to the custody of the Department.[1]

         At a review hearing on April 3, 2015, the court found that Mr. Kimble remained IST but no longer was dangerous, and the court released him subject to continued treatment. Several months later, the court held another status hearing, and found that Mr. Kimble was still IST and "fully compliant" with his treatment plan.

         At Mr. Kimble's annual review hearing on April 1, 2016, the court considered the Department's most recent evaluation and found that Mr. Kimble remained incompetent to stand trial. In the context of scheduling the next status hearing, the parties and the court agreed that it should be set close to the "dismissal date," which all appeared to assume was five years from the date Mr. Kimble was charged:

THE COURT: All right. Good morning. Okay. [Mr. Kimble]'s in for his annual review and I do have a report from the Department. Has counsel received that?
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: I have, Your Honor.
STATE: As has the State, yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Any comments or anything?
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: Your Honor, in this report, the Department opines that Mr. Kimble, at this point, is both, remains incompetent to stand trial and also cannot be restored to competency in the foreseeable future.
THE COURT: Right.
[DEFEDNANT'S COUNSEL]: I would ask that the Court set the next date at the dismissal date, which at this point --
THE COURT: Okay.
[DEFEDNANT'S COUNSEL]: -- is, by my calculation, he was charged originally in November of 2012, so in the December 2017 docket.
THE COURT: Okay. So, December 2017, if we have that status [] conference at that time, that would be the dismissal date.
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Okay.
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: And, at this point, I, you know, I don't think setting another status conference --
THE COURT: Is going to change anything.
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: -- is going to change anything and just make the Department do another evaluation and, quite frankly, I think they need the time, to spend the time on, for having seen some of the other ones today --
THE COURT: Other things.
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: -- doing a little more --
THE COURT: Yes, sir.
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: -- psychological testing with the time that they do have.
THE COURT: Perhaps. Okay. Does the State have anything to contribute or --
STATE: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: -- suggest? I mean, it makes perfect sense to me, that we would not do another annual review. I mean, I do think that the, that the statute does require an annual review, but this isn't, 2017 isn't pushing, even though it's December, it's not pushing it back that much further than we would normally see him, so I think this is fine. It's actually December the 1st.
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: That would be perfect.
THE COURT: So, 12/1 of 2017 will be his annual review and that will be his dismissal date.
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: Okay.
THE COURT: I'll note that on my calendar. All right, we'll see you then.
[DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL]: Okay. Thank you.
THE COURT: Keep up the good work, sir.

         Approximately a year and a half went by, and on November 13, 2017, Mr. Kimble filed a motion to dismiss. He argued that the five-year time limit set forth in CP § 3-107(a) required the court to dismiss his charges. The court held a hearing on the motion on December 1, 2017, at which the State argued that dismissal was not required. Although five years had passed since the charges were filed, the State argued that the time period begins on the date he was found IST, not the date he was ...


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