Buis' motion for release denied

Saturday, November 13, 2010



GREENCASTLE -- A motion for the release from jail of a Van Bibber Lake man accused of killing his neighbor this past April has been denied.

Matthew Buis, 40, will remain in the Putnam County Jail, where he has been since his arrest on April 28. He is charged with Class A felony voluntary manslaughter in connection with the April 27 shooting death of Clifford Hulse, 57.

Buis is set to to go trial on Dec. 8.

Buis' court-appointed attorney, Joel Wieneke, filed a motion on Nov. 1 for his client's release, citing Indiana Criminal Rule 4. C.R. 4 states a defendant must be released on his or her own recognizance if he or she is held for more than six months after an arrest and a trial has not commenced.

On Nov. 5, Putnam County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long responded to the motion, saying Buis' and his attorney's actions had caused the trial to be delayed.

On June 24, Wieneke requested a trial date in early 2011 for Buis, at which time the Dec. 8 date was set.

"Defense counsel agreed with and consented to this date," Long said.

Buis filed a letter with the court on Aug. 8 in which he asked for a speedy trial. When he was in court for a hearing on Aug. 26, he withdrew the request.

At that hearing, Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley made sure to emphasize that the December court date would fall well outside of the six-month period provided for in C.R. 4. Neither Buis nor Wieneke objected, and when Headley asked if there would be a C.R. 4 challenge, Wieneke indicated there would not.

Long said if Wieneke had wanted the trial date moved up, he had the opportunity to make the request at the Aug. 26 date.

"Now that the time has expired, the defendant is claiming a violation has occurred," Long said. "Once the defense took the affirmative act of specifically requesting a jury trial date in 2011, well beyond the period prescribed by (C.R. 4), the delay from June 24 forward is chargeable to him."

Buis had pled not guilty, and has maintained that he shot Hulse in self-defense. Headley set his bond at $100,000 cash only.

A Class A felony carries an advisory sentence of 30 years in prison. The minimum sentence is 20 years, and the maximum is 50 years.

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