North Dakota v. WatsonAnnotate this Case
James Watson was convicted by jury of continuous sexual abuse of a child in Golden Valley County, North Dakota. He conditionally pled guilty to sexual assault in Hettinger County, and he conditionally pled guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a child in Stark County. Watson argued the district court erred by granting continuances in all three cases and violated his statutory speedy trial rights. The North Dakota Supreme Court concluded the court did not abuse its discretion by granting the State’s motions for continuances in the Hettinger and Stark County cases. But Watson’s statutory speedy trial right was violated in the Golden Valley County case because trial did not begin within 90 days of Watson’s speedy trial election and the district court did not find good cause for the delay. The Court therefore affirmed the Hettinger and Stark County judgments and reversed the Golden Valley County judgment.