Prosecutor's foot dragging could mean freedom for convicted killer

(ROCK ISLAND, Iowa) -- An administrative blunder by an Assistant State's Attorney could allow a convicted murderer to go free, if a circuit judge's ruling stands on appeal.

On Nov. 20 Rock Island County Judge James Teros ruled that Nashaun Quick will sidestep a life sentence because Assistant State's Attorney Will Kalinak did not meet the 120-day deadline for retrial.

When 155 days passed with no new trial scheduled, Quick's attorney's asked the judge to drop the case, according to the Quad-City Times.

Teros obliged, citing 30 years of case law for the state's speedy-trial rule, according to the newspaper.

"The law in Illinois is clear that the speedy-trial statute applies," Teros told the Times.

Kalinak, who said he was waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if it would grant a retrial on an overturned conviction, is appealing the judge's decision to the 3rd circuit court of appeals.

"The purpose of the speedy-trial act is to protect the defendant's constitutional right to a speedy trial," Kalinak told the Times. "The burden is on the state to take the steps necessary to bring about a prompt trial. "The only thing the defendant did was to await retrial for the offense of first-degree murder."

In 1997 Quick was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing Paul Foster by firing randomly into his house. The conviction was overturned when one co-defendant refused to testify against him and the other recant his previous statements that Quick was the trigger man. Prosecutors' requests for a retrial were turned down by both the state and federal Supreme court.

The judge ordered Quick to remain in jail on $2 million bond pending the out come of the appeal.

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