Defense for Mt. Vernon man charged with child abuse argues failure of speedy trial

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A 28-year-old Mt. Vernon man remains in the Jefferson County Jail as his attorneys argue prosecutors in his felony child battery case have violated their client’s right to a speedy trial.
Gilbert HeckGilbert Heck is charged with two Class X felony counts of aggravated battery to a child resulting in permanent disability, two Class 2 felony counts of aggravated domestic battery and one Class 3 felony count of aggravated battery to a child resulting in bodily harm.
Prosecutors say sometime between May 1 and 2, Heck held his infant son to his chest until the baby stopped breathing. Heck was taken into custody on May 8. The Defense says Heck was entitled to a trial within 120 days of his arrest.
The defense claims it was provided with medical records and other discovery evidence after the court’s deadline for discovery, and that the continuance of the trial beyond 120 days is a violation of Heck’s right to a speedy trial.
Prosecutors say they were granted an extension on discovery until July 21, and filed an answer July 20.
Initially, the jury trial was set for Aug. 25 — day 109. Currently a jury trial in the case is set for January 26, 2016.