Judge to deliberate over proposed dismissal of charges against David Swift

Wednesday, July 3, 2024
David Swift
State Gazette photo/Rachel Townsend



What initially began as a bond hearing for defendant David Swift turned into an appeal for dismissal hearing following various motions submitted to the courts by David Swift’s attorney Daniel Taylor. David Swift is accused of charges relating to the 2011 murder of his wife Karen Swift.

District Attorney General Danny Goodman and defense attorney Daniel Taylor argued on the potential dismissal of voluntary manslaughter charges now facing David Swift. Judge Mark Hayes said he needed time to deliberate over the issue. An appearance date has been set for July 30, to discuss the matter further.
State Gazette photo/ Rachel Townsend

David Swift was found innocent of 1st and 2nd-degree murder and attempted murder charges outlined in the District Attorney’s [DA] 2022 indictment during a murder trial held from May 28 to June 6, 2024.

A mistrial was declared after the jury was hung on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. A superseding indictment was issued on June 20, 2024, for the charges of voluntary manslaughter, as the DA’s office moved forward to prosecute.

During the Tuesday, July 2 hearing, the District Attorney’s Office and the defense agreed to dismiss the 2022 indictment of David Swift and will move forward with the charges of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault in the new 2024 indictment

In opposition to the 2024 indictment presented during Tuesday's hearing, Taylor stated that voluntary manslaughter and all other lesser offenses exceeded the statute of limitations, were not specified in the 2022 indictment, and should have never been ruled on during the trial. Taylor cited other cases where an appellate court ruled for dismissal under similar circumstances.

He also noted that toll statutes were never presented in the 2022 indictment, nor were any of the lesser charges the jury deliberated on during the trial. Because of this, Taylor argued that lesser charges should not have been included in the jury’s instructions for deliberation, which would have then resulted in the full acquittal of David Swift. Taylor expressed an opinion that a re-trial based on expired charges would essentially be double jeopardy.

District Attorney General Danny Goodman stated the 2024 indictment was not an amended 2022 indictment but a new indictment. He countered Taylor’s arguments citing Tennessee toll statutes that outline the statute of limitations on crimes does not apply to any years where the defendant resided outside of Tennessee.

Goodman says that from 2014 to 2016 David Swift resided in various other states, making the statute of limitations on the lesser offenses valid for a 2024 indictment. Goodman said that while the lesser offenses were not listed in the 2022 indictment, the jury’s power to deliberate on lesser charges during the trial was made at the court’s discretion.

Swift has waived his right to an arraignment and is not requesting a bond. Taylor told the court that Swift does not want to burden his family financially. Taylor says he will continue to represent Swift, moving forward. Taylor is a court-appointed attorney. In a post-hearing interview with Taylor, he stated hopes to “see this case through.” Goodman says he is ready to move forward with a retrial.

Judge Mark Hayes announced that he would be taking time to consider both positions. Hayes set the next appearance of Swift is set for July 30, at 1 p.m. in Dyer County Circuit Court.

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  • Stop wasting tax payer money on this. He was found not guilty of murder. Let him go and move on.

    You know it’s a weak case when a court appointed defense attorney can get this type of verdict.

    -- Posted by fedup4144 on Tue, Jul 2, 2024, at 5:17 PM
  • This continued pursuit of him is unnecessary and a waste of everyone's time, energy, and resources.

    I'd love the true facts to come to life and to honestly be able to say that she received the justice that she deserves, but attempting to prosecute him over and over and over again is just wasteful and redundant. What would you feasibly have to convict him on manslaughter for that you didn't have for Murder 1 and 2? This feels like even more of a longshot than the initial trial, and it screams of desperation of trying to get something, anything to stick.

    However, I'd love to get a clearer picture of some of the individuals that were referenced so often in his trial. There was one name in particular that kept surfacing that is so adjacent to the case that it only seems appropriate to examine.

    -- Posted by Mr. World on Wed, Jul 3, 2024, at 9:35 AM
  • Totally agree Mr. World. Prosecutors are not supposed to be allowed to keep having trials until something sticks. I didn’t make that up, it’s the 5th amendment in the Bill of Rights. The founding fathers absolutely intended to prevent the government from putting citizens in a continual cycle of jeopardy, especially in situations of weak evidence. The double jeopardy clause isn’t just for the benefit of the defendant, there are numerous witnesses in this case who will again be forced on the stand to publicly admit unrelated things that they’d rather not, and possibly perjure themselves along the way. For what? Another trial with no real evidence? Move on.

    Why is “one name in particular” not forced to go on the stand and speak under oath? It would actually be to the benefit of the prosecution and that person to squash the conspiracy theory!

    To me, this whole situation screams of politics behind the scenes. What began 12 years ago as seeking justice for Karen has morphed into something else. That something being related to “one name in particular.” Not saying that person is involved in the death, but that person has an interest in keeping this going as long as possible for their own lawsuits behind the scenes. Just my opinion.

    -- Posted by GeorgeWambles on Thu, Jul 4, 2024, at 7:03 PM
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