A man accused of killing his wife in January 2018 represented himself in court Thursday after more than a year in jail and filed a motion to dismiss the case against him based on speedy trial rules.
After William W. Bost, 60, crashed into a deputy’s patrol car in Spokane Valley on Jan. 6, 2018, he told the deputy that his wife, Jade, 64, was dead and claimed his dog killed her. More deputies responded to Bost’s house, and one reportedly saw the woman lying in a pool of blood with two knives near her.
Bost, who has two felony convictions from a 1989 armed robbery, also was charged with eight counts of illegally possessing a firearm after investigators found eight guns and ammunition in his home. Jade Bost was a retired Spokane Community College instructor.
Since he was arrested, Bost has had four public defenders represent him. He met with his first attorney, Todd Porter, in March 2018, and then spent 15 days at Eastern State Hospital in May for a mental health evaluation. Bost said he never heard from Porter again.
State officials determined Bost to be competent to stand trial, and he has remained in the Spokane County Jail since June 1, 2018. During that time, two other defense attorneys asked to suspend his case several times while they sought a second opinion on Bost’s mental health.
They also sought to have Bost examined by a private psychiatrist to help determine his mental state at the time of the killing, attorneys said in court.
Bost argued that the competency evaluations kept him in judicial limbo.
“A total of 416 days, I never received a court appearance,” Bost said.
Prosecutors said they were operating under the assumption that the defense attorneys were working to get a second mental health opinion and find an expert witness while the case was suspended.
“This is not a situation where the state was at fault in any sort of delay,” Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Sharon Hedlund said.
She added that she was unaware until Wednesday that Bost had not seen the mental health expert.
“We tried to move this along as fast as possible,” Hedlund said.
In April, Bost sent a motion directly to two judges asking that they dismiss the charges against him based on the fact that his right to a speedy trial had been violated. The judges did not consider the motions without review by the prosecution.
Bost met in May with his fourth public defender, who moved to lift the stay of proceedings on the case. Bost was granted a motion to represent himself on Oct. 31, after previous motions were denied, and refiled his motion to dismiss the charges against him earlier this month.
As a result of the delays in his case, Bost said his memories from a year ago are fading, affecting his ability to testify about what happened.
Superior Court Judge Charnelle Bjelkengren said she was unsure if the delay qualified as grounds for dismissal. She said she could not determine if the state had caused the delay.
Bost said he’s not blaming the state or his defense, but rather the judge for not inquiring about the status of his case and pushing proceedings forward.
“It is the court’s responsibility to protect my speedy trial rights,” Bost said.
Bjelkengren said she shared some of Bost’s concerns about the length of time it is taking to get him to trial. She said she will give an oral ruling on Bost’s motion to dismiss the case on Dec. 5.
“This is a very weighty issue,” Bjelkengren said. “You have made good arguments.”
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