United States v Margheim

Margheim appealed his convictions arguing his statutory and constitutional speedy trial rights had been violated. The panel affirmed. It held that the statutory period started on the date the last defendant charged in the indictment made his appearance as the ten month period was reasonable given the interest in having one trial when one set of facts through one set of witnesses will be presented and Margheim’s contributed to in the delay by seeking a 120 continuance and failing to vigorously protecting his rights by seeking a severance. The panel held that based on its reading of the record, enough days were excluded from the statutory period to deem the statute satisfied. It particularly noted that because Margheim withdrew a suppression motion instead of filing a reply brief, the whole six month period from filing to withdrawal is excluded for the case was never under advisement for statutory purposes. The panel held that even assuming the shortest periods possible on motions to withdraw motions and other filings, only 68 countable days occurred and this is less than the allowed 70 days. The panel held there was no constitutional violation because Margheim’s conduct was at least as responsible for the pretrial delay as government action, Margheim did not assert his speedy trial rights until very late in the pretrial process and by his conduct (firing three attorneys and filing numerous motions) did not indicate he was interested in a swift resolution of the matter and there was no evidence of prejudice given there was no loss of evidence or loss of witness testimony.