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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Boulder County District Court No. 14CR1657. Honorable Andrew
R. Macdonald, Judge.
J. Weiser, Attorney General, Lisa K. Michaels, Assistant
Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee.
A. Ring, Colorado State Public Defender, Dayna Vise, Deputy
State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for
and Grove, JJ., concur.
Defendant, Timothy West, appeals the judgment of conviction
entered on a jury verdict finding him guilty of sexual
assault of a child under fifteen years of age, contributing
to the delinquency of a minor, and a class 4 drug felony. As
an issue of first impression, West, who represented himself
at trial, asks us to consider whether the trial court's
evidentiary and discovery rulings deprived him of his right
to self-representation. We conclude that they did not.
[¶2] He also contends that the trial court
(1) violated his right to a speedy trial; (2) erred by not
releasing the victim's juvenile records to him; (3)
allowed improper testimony bolstering the victim's
credibility; (4) erred by allowing the prosecution to
untimely add counts that contained a variance and trying
those counts in the wrong venue; and (5) cumulatively erred.
We reject these contentions as well and therefore affirm.
[¶3] In 2014, the People charged West with,
among other things, sexual assault of a child after he
admitted to having sex with the underage victim. Disregarding
the trial court's advisement, West waived his right to
counsel, choosing instead to proceed pro se.
[¶4] Throughout the course of the trial, the
court repeatedly explained the hazards of West representing
himself, at times making statements such as " he who
represents himself has a fool for a [client]" and "
be prepared to live with the consequence of [representing
yourself], which is you are not going to have a lot of
resources that would be available to you with court-appointed
[¶5] West continually asserted his right to
a speedy trial. Over West's objection that it would
violate his speedy trial rights, the court set his trial for
June 22, 2015. West then moved to reset the trial within what
he maintained was the statutory speedy trial period, drawing
the court's attention to a document he had placed in the
mail on December 20, 2014, that purported to notify the court
and prosecution of his not guilty plea. The trial court
denied his motion. On June 2 and June 12, West again argued
that his speedy trial rights had been violated. The court
rejected both arguments, stating that the June 22 date was
well within his speedy trial period based on the
prosecutor's argument that the period began on the date
of his original arraignment hearing on January 16, 2015. On
June 19, West made one final effort to dismiss his charges
for violation of his statutory and constitutional speedy
trial rights. The court denied the motion, ruling that, even
if he properly entered his plea on December 20, 2014, June 22
was the first business day after the statutory period expired
and, thus, the trial date was within the statutory speedy
[¶6] West contends that the trial court
violated his statutory and constitutional rights to a speedy
trial by setting his trial date for June 22, 2015 —
more than 180 days after he initially mailed his notice of
plea of not guilty on December 20, 2014. We disagree.
Standard of Review and Preservation
[¶7] We review de novo the trial court's
interpretation of Colorado's speedy trial statute and its
analysis of the constitutional right to a speedy trial.
See People v. Nelson, 2014 COA 165, ¶¶ 17,
25, 360 P.3d 175, 180-81. However, we review the court's
findings of fact for clear error, disregarding them only if
the record is devoid of support. Id. at ¶ 25, 360
P.3d at 181.
[¶8] It is undisputed that West preserved
his statutory speedy trial argument. For purposes of this
opinion, we will assume West also preserved his
constitutional speedy trial argument.
[¶9] Both Federal and State Constitutions as
well as a Colorado statute protect a defendant's right to
a speedy trial. Id. at ¶ 22 . While the Sixth
Amendment to the United States Constitution and article
II, section 16 of the Colorado Constitution guarantee the
right, the speedy trial statute implements it by prescribing
a deadline within which the defendant must be brought to
trial after the right attaches. Id. at ¶¶ 21-22, 360
P.3d at 180-81.
[¶10] The constitutional right to speedy
trial attaches when a defendant is formally charged with an
offense or arrested and continuously held in custody prior to
the filing of formal charges, whichever occurs first.
Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355, 1363 (Colo.
1993) (citing United States v. Marion, 404 U.S. 307,
320, 92 S.Ct. 455, 30 L.Ed.2d 468 (1971)); see also
People v. Chavez, 779 P.2d 375, 376 (Colo. 1989);
People v. Glaser, 250 P.3d 632, 635 (Colo.App.
[¶11] The United States Supreme Court has
announced, and Colorado has adopted, a four-factor balancing
test to determine whether a trial court has violated a
defendant's constitutional right to a speedy trial.
Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530, 92 S.Ct. 2182,
33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972); Chavez, 779 P.2d at 376. The
Barker test requires us to weigh (1) the length of
the delay; (2) the reason for the delay; (3) the
defendant's assertion of his or her right to a speedy
trial; and (4) prejudice to the defendant. 407 U.S. at 530.
[¶12] The Barker Court described
the length of the delay as " a triggering
mechanism," requiring the court to first consider
whether the length of delay is " presumptively
prejudicial." Id. Unless the court deems the
length prejudicial, it need not analyze the remaining
factors. Id. at 531 . In determining whether the
first factor triggers the rest of the analysis, the court may
take into consideration the particular circumstances of the
case, such as the seriousness and complexity of the charged
[¶13] Colorado's statutory right to a
speedy trial imposes a more precise period: six months from
the date of the entry of a plea of not guilty. § 18-1-405(1),
C.R.S. 2018. The period ends at the commencement of trial.
Id. While the prosecution and the trial court bear
the burden of compliance, the defendant bears the burden of
proving that he or she was denied a speedy trial. Saiz v.
Dist. Court, 189 Colo. 555, 557-58, 542 P.2d 1293, 1295
[¶14] We first address whether, under
Barker, the trial court violated West's
constitutional right to a speedy trial. Thus, we look to the
length of the alleged delay to assess its presumptive
prejudice. Here, the constitutional right attached at the
time of West's arrest, which was eight months and six
days before the first day of trial. Our jurisprudence
suggests that the length of delay becomes presumptively
prejudicial as it
approaches one year. See People v.
Sandoval-Candelaria, 2014 CO 21, ¶ 35, 321 P.3d 487;
Nelson, ¶ 23, 360 P.3d at 181 (citing Doggett v.
United States, 505 U.S. 647, 651 n.1, 112 S.Ct. 2686,
120 L.Ed.2d 520 (1992)); Glaser, 250 P.3d at 635;
see also People v. Brewster, 240 P.3d 291,
299 (Colo.App. 2009) (concluding that seven-and-one-half
months was not a presumptively prejudicial delay).
Accordingly, we conclude that the delay here did not
prejudice West and thus we need not consider the remaining
[¶15] Turning to West's argument that
the trial court violated his statutory right to a speedy
trial, we agree with the People that, even if he invoked his
right by mailing his plea of not guilty on December 20, 2014,
trial commenced on June 22, the first business day after the
conclusion of the six-month period. § 2-4-108(2), C.R.S.
2018; People v. Hampton, 696 P.2d 765, 771 n.8
(Colo. 1985). Thus, we need not determine which event started
the speedy trial clock because, even if we assume that
West's mailing of December 20, 2014, did so, the June 22
trial date fell within the statutory period.
Right to Self-Representation
[¶16] West argues that the trial court,
through multiple discovery and evidentiary rulings, deprived
him of his fundamental right to self-representation. We
Standard of Review
[¶17] Whether a trial court denied a
defendant's right to self-representation poses a question
of law we review de novo. People v. Abdu, 215 P.3d
1265, 1267 (Colo.App. 2009). If we conclude that a trial
court denied a defendant's right to self-representation,
structural error results, and we must reverse. SeePeople v. Waller,2016 COA 115, ¶ 23, 412 P.3d 866,
872 (stating that structural ...