BARNES, P. J., MERCIER and BROWN, JJ.
the remand of this case to the trial court in Durham v.
State, 345 Ga.App. 687 (814 S.E.2d 813) (2018), the
trial court entered a written order denying Gary Durham's
plea in bar asserting a violation of his right to a speedy
trial. As allowed by our remand instructions, Durham appeals
from this order, contending that the trial court (1)
improperly weighed the four factors outlined in Barker v.
Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101)
(1972), and (2) improperly commented upon the evidence. For
the reasons explained below, we vacate the trial court's
order denying Durham's plea in bar and remand with
Durham asserts that the trial court improperly weighed the
four factors utilized in the Barker v. Wingo test
and that a proper application of the balancing test mandates
the grant of his plea in bar. Both the Sixth Amendment to the
United States Constitution, as well as the Georgia
Constitution, provide criminal defendants with a right to a
speedy trial. Smith v. State, 338 Ga.App. 62, 68 (1)
(789 S.E.2d 291) (2016). When analyzing these claims, we
"first determine whether the interval from the
accused's arrest, indictment, or other formal accusation
to the trial is sufficiently long to be considered
presumptively prejudicial." (Citation and punctuation
omitted.) Id. In this case, the delay from the date
of arrest until Durham's trial was over six years, and
the trial court properly concluded that it was presumptively
cases where the delay is presumptively prejudicial, the trial
court is required to conduct a balancing test of the
following four factors:
(1) the length of the delay; (2) reasons for the delay; (3)
defendant's assertion of the right to speedy trial; and
(4) the prejudice to the defendant. Standing alone, none of
these factors are a necessary, or sufficient condition to a
finding of deprivation of the right to a speedy trial, but
rather should be considered as part of a balancing test.
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Smith, 338
Ga.App. at 68 (1). "[T]hese four factors have no
talismanic qualities and must be considered together with
such other circumstances as may be relevant in light of the
animating principles of the speedy trial guarantee."
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Ellis v. State,
343 Ga.App. 391, 394 (2) (806 S.E.2d 839) (2017).
In Georgia, the application of these principles to the
circumstances of a particular case is a task committed
principally to the discretion of the trial courts, and it is
settled law that our role as a court of review is a limited
one. Therefore, we must accept the factual findings of the
trial court unless they are clearly erroneous, and we must
accept the ultimate conclusion of the trial court unless it
amounts to an abuse of discretion, even though we might have
reached a different conclusion were the issue committed to
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Smith, 338
Ga.App. at 68-69 (1).
Length of Delay. In its order, the trial court
recognized "that some delay is not uncommon in a case
such as this," but nonetheless weighed the six-year
delay against the State. It failed, however, to assign a
weight for the delay or decide whether the particular delay
in this case was "uncommonly long," even though the
State conceded in its brief that the delay between
Durham's arrest and indictment was uncommonly long. See
Taylor v. State, 338 Ga.App. 804, 807 (1) (a) (792
S.E.2d 101) (2016) (noting prior appeal remanded for trial
court to assess whether delay was uncommonly long and the
weight of this factor).
Reasons and Responsibility for the Delay. With
regard to this factor, the trial court stated as follows:
The second Barker factor is the reason for the delay
and is only slightly weighed against the State. The Court
finds, as the State conceded, that much of the reason for the
delay is due to the negligence on its part in bringing the
case to trial. Further, staffing turnover within the District
Attorney's Office and overcrowded dockets, as described
in the State's brief, also contributed to the delay.
However, there is no evidence of any deliberate attempt to
delay the trial of the Defendant. Therefore, this factor is
only weighed benignly against the State.
no abuse of discretion in the trial court's findings with
regard to this factor.
Defendant's Assertion of his Speedy Trial Right.
The trial court weighed this factor "heavily against the
Defendant" based upon his failure to assert this right
for over six years and the fact that he only did so after the
speedy trial issue was brought up by the trial court. The
trial court failed, however, to consider whether Durham's
delayed assertion of his right should be mitigated by
announcements he was ready for trial. See Smith, 338
Ga.App. at 71 (1) (c). The record shows that Durham was
arrested in December 2009, that he was indicted in April
2012, and that he was tried in February 2016. According to
Durham, he announced ready for trial on each of the following
dates his case was scheduled to be heard: December 12, 2012,
February 11, 2013, May 19, 2014, November 17, 2014, January
12, 2015, and February 9, 2015. "[W]hether the
circumstances of a particular case ...