A Greencastle man's Criminal Rule 4(A) motion for release has been denied by Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley.
Terrell Britton, 53, was arrested on June 10 and charged with six counts of Class A felony child molesting, two counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, two counts of Class D felony child solicitation, one count each of Class D felonies performing sexual conduct in the presence of minors and dissemination of matter harmful to a minor, and Class A felonies possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.
Criminal Rule 4(A) in the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure states that a defendant cannot be held without a trial for more than six months except where the defendant or his or her counsel ask for a continuance or there is congestion on the court calendar.
Defendants released in accordance with this rule are set free on their own recognizance.
Britton's court-appointed attoney, James Recker, filed a motion on Feb. 17 for Britton's release.
In his order, Headley said that, according to the chronological case summary, Britton's final pretrial conference on Nov. 20, Recker asked for a continuance of his client's Dec. 10 jury trial.
"The transcript specifically indicated that defendant's attorney said, 'Yes, your honor, we are requesting a continuance of that trial,'" the order said.
The order went on to say that additionally, Recker asked for another final pretrial conference and another plea cut-off date. Those requests were granted by the court. The jury trial was reset for March 18.
On Jan. 13, the court moved the date of the trial to April 1 because another case was set for March 18. It was also noted that the week after the trial date was spring break, and "the prosecuting attorney, judge and other witnesses would not be available."
In his order, Headley called Recker's motion for Britton's release "against reasonable logic."
"If defendant's logic is to be followed, then every held defendant would wait until just before his scheduled jury trial date, ask for a continuance, then court would reset and then prior to the second pretrial but after 180 days had expired, the defendant would petition to be released," Headley said in his order. "If this is an approved procedure, these dangerous, properly-charged defendants would use this technique and promptly flee or seek out their accuser/victims upon release. Such a 'grand bagging' approach could not be envisioned by the Supreme Court."
Britton's trial date remains set for March 18. Four alleged victims, all minors, are named in the charges against him.
If convicted on all counts, Britton could be sentenced to 50 years each on the A felonies, 20 years each on the B felonies, three years each on the D felonies and one year each on the misdemeanors.