Appeal from the 263rd District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 1514084
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Keyes and
Jennifer Caughey, Justice.
found appellant Craig Porter guilty of the felony offense of
manslaughter, and the trial court assessed Porter's
punishment at confinement for life. In his sole issue on
appeal, Porter contends that the trial court erred by denying
his motion to dismiss for violation of his right to a speedy
trial. Because the trial court did not err in denying
Porter's motion to dismiss, we affirm.
2002, Cherita Thurman was found dead-naked, with her legs and
arms bound. The medical examiner determined that she had been
asphyxiated. Investigators were unable to identify the
2013, a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) search connected
Porter to Thurman. Testing revealed Porter's DNA in
multiple places on Thurman's body. The State arrested
Porter in January 2013 and he received appointed counsel. In
March 2013, Porter was indicted for Thurman's murder.
began on August 8, 2016, and the jury found Porter guilty of
manslaughter. The trial court assessed punishment at
confinement for life. Porter appealed, arguing that his case
should have been dismissed for violation of his right to a
the primary concern in this appeal is the length between
Porter's arrest and trial, we detail the pretrial events.
These events demonstrate that Porter was himself responsible
for-or at least acquiesced to-most of the delay in this case.
Porter's request, the district court reset this case six
times between March 2013 and October 2013. On October 15,
2013, Porter's appointed counsel moved to withdraw
because his relationship with Porter had deteriorated to the
point that Porter refused to speak with him and had filed a
grievance against him with the State Bar. The trial court
granted Porter's motion and, on October 23, 2013,
appointed Porter new counsel. The court then reset the case
two more times-again at Porter's request.
January 2014, the trial court appointed a third lawyer,
Jerome Godinich, to represent Porter. At Porter's
request, the court then reset the case six more times between
January and August 2014. In August 2014, Porter waived his
right to appointed counsel and began to represent himself,
with Godinich as standby counsel. Once again at Porter's
request, the court reset the case twice between August 2014
and March 2015. In March 2015, Porter ceased representing
himself and Godinich began representing him again. Porter
then requested two more resets. In addition to these two
resets requested by Porter, the court reset the case a third
time, but the record does not reflect the reason for this
reset or who requested it.
September 10, 2015, the court reset the trial for January 22,
2016. The record does not reflect the reason for this reset
or who requested it. In January 2016, the court reset the
trial for March 14, 2016. The reset order indicates
"Lab" as the reason for the reset. On February 18,
2016, Porter filed a motion for independent analysis of DNA
evidence, which the court granted on March 1, 2016. In March,
the court reset the trial for June 20, 2016.
days before the June trial date, the State reindicted the
case. Because Porter elected not to waive his ten days'
statutory notice, the court reset the trial for August 8,
December 11, 2015-eight months before trial-Porter's
counsel moved to dismiss, alleging a speedy-trial violation.
Porter did not set the motion for a hearing. On August ...