A Colorado district attorney says he’s “appalled” by a criminal justice system that “completely failed” last week, as Michael McFadden, previously convicted of sexually assaulting half a dozen children — for which he was sentenced to over 300 years — is now walking free due to a technicality.
Michael McFadden, 46, was released from Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Eastern Colorado on Tuesday. The reason? An appeals court ruled that McFadden’s right to a speedy trial had been violated.
Back in 2015, the Grand Junction man was convicted on 19 counts of violent sexual assault against six children. During pretrial negotiations, the judge in the case granted McFadden and his defense team two continuances. In order to secure those continuances, the defense team agreed to wave McFadden’s speedy trial rights on both occasions.
It was a third delay that would ultimately lead to the man’s release from prison. The defense team had submitted a jury questionnaire that included information about one of McFadden’s prior convictions. The judge determined that the inclusion of the information made it impossible for McFadden to receive a fair trial and ordered another continuance.
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