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Miller v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

February 25, 2015

DEONTA MILLER, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE PHILLIPS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CR-13-171. HONORABLE L. T. SIMES, JUDGE.

Amy Jackson Kell and Dorcy Kyle Corbin, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Vada Berger, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

BART F. VIRDEN, Judge. GRUBER and GLOVER, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 762

BART F. VIRDEN, Judge

On August 13, 2013, Deonta Miller was charged in Phillips County, Arkansas, with aggravated robbery and first-degree battery. Miller filed a motion to transfer his case to the juvenile division of circuit court. After a juvenile-transfer hearing, the circuit court denied the motion. Miller

Page 763

presents three points on appeal: 1) the circuit court erred in denying the motion to transfer, 2) Arkansas Code Annotated sections 9-27-318 and 9-27-503 are unconstitutional, and 3) the State failed to comply with discovery. We affirm.

I. Motion to Transfer

A. The Factors Set Forth in Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318(g)

A prosecuting attorney has the discretion to charge a juvenile sixteen years of age or older in the criminal division of circuit court if the juvenile has allegedly engaged in conduct that, if committed by an adult, would be a felony. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-318(c)(1) (Repl. 2009). On the motion of the court or any party, the court in which the criminal charges have been filed shall conduct a hearing to determine whether to transfer the case to another division of circuit court having jurisdiction. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-318(e). The defendant, as the moving party, bears the burden of proving that his or her case should be transferred to the juvenile division of circuit court. See Magana-Galdamez v. State, 104 Ark.App. 280, 291 S.W.3d 203 (2009). The court shall order the case transferred to another division of circuit court only upon a finding by clear-and-convincing evidence that the case should be transferred. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-318(h)(2). Clear-and-convincing evidence is the degree of proof that will produce in the trier of fact a firm conviction as to the allegation sought to be established. Lewis v. State, 2011 Ark.App. 691. We will not reverse a circuit court's determination of whether to transfer a case unless that decision is clearly erroneous. Id. A finding is clearly erroneous when, although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with a firm conviction that a mistake has been committed. Id.

At a juvenile-transfer hearing the circuit court must consider and issue written findings on the following factors:

(1) The seriousness of the alleged offense and whether the protection of society requires prosecution in the ...

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