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B.D. v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

March 4, 2015

B.D., APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

Page 295

APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTH DIVISION. NOS.CR2013-1184, CR2013-780, CR2-13-1799. HONORABLE HERBERT THOMAS WRIGHT, JUDGE.

Willard Proctor, Jr., P.A., by: Willard Proctor, Jr., for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Rebecca B. Kane, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge. GLADWIN, C.J., and KINARD, J., agree.

OPINION

Page 296

WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge

This is appellant's interlocutory appeal from the circuit court's denial of his separate motions to transfer case numbers 60CR-13-780, 60CR-13-1184, and 60CR-13-1799 to the juvenile division of circuit court. On appeal, appellant argues that the circuit court erred in denying his motions where it (1) failed to make findings required by Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318(h)(1); (2) made a clearly erroneous finding regarding Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318(g)(4); and (3) made a clearly erroneous finding regarding Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318(g)(7). We affirm.

Appellant has charges under three different case numbers: aggravated robbery and theft of property in case number 60CR-13-1184 arising from events occurring on January 12, 2013; murder in the first degree, two counts of battery in the first degree, and aggravated assault in case number 60CR-13-780 arising from events occurring on January 30, 2013; and domestic battery in the first degree in case number 60CR-13-1799 arising from events occurring on May 12, 2013. In each case, appellant filed a motion to transfer the case to juvenile court.[1]

A juvenile transfer hearing on all three of appellant's transfer motions was held on September 3, 2014. Dr. Bob Gale testified to his opinion that appellant suffered from numerous mental defects including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, borderline intellectual functioning, intellectual developmental disorder, and dependent personality disorder.[2] He asserted that all of appellant's

Page 297

diagnoses were " amenable to re-training if done properly," but also asserted that it would require " [a]t least -- four or five years" though " not necessarily in the same type of facility." He testified to there being a " 50/50 chance of [appellant] being helped through the juvenile system" via use of programs available to appellant there. However, he acknowledged that he was unaware of whether the types of programs he spoke of appellant needing actually existed in the juvenile system. In the case that they did not, Dr. Gale stated that the juvenile system would guarantee that appellant was " associated with less savory or unsavory people" than if he went to adult prison and " it's more of who he would be around rather than what kind of treatment he would be receiving."

Pertinent witnesses included Felicia Finch, a witness to the events giving rise to case number 60CR-13-1799, who testified to seeing appellant shoot Henderson Sessions, her boyfriend and appellant's uncle.[3] She further testified to the severity of Sessions's injuries, which had necessitated numerous surgeries. Shanna Henderson, victim of the events giving rise to case number 60CR-13-1184, testified to being accosted by appellant with a gun, and immediately thereafter, having her car stolen by appellant. One crime scene investigator testified to taking latent prints from the recovered vehicle. Appellant stipulated to testimony from another worker in the crime scene unit that those prints were found both inside and outside of Henderson's vehicle and that two latent prints, one in the interior and one on the exterior of the vehicle, were identified as belonging to appellant.

Detective Jordan Neufer testified to investigating the incidents giving rise to case number 60CR-13-780. Detective Neufer testified that one victim died from gunshots sustained, another victim received nonfatal gunshot wounds, and a third victim was not injured. He stated that appellant gave a statement in which he denied possessing a firearm and stated that he was only driving the car.[4]

Appellant's mother, Angela Davis, testified that appellant had problems in school and was on " like ten different medicines." She testified regarding appellant's hard life with Davis being addicted to cocaine and appellant's father being in and out of his life, leaving appellant to be raised either by his sister or his aunt. Appellant's sister testified that appellant did not have problems in school, asserted that appellant had and followed rules, and stated that she never saw appellant leave her home with anyone other than his father.

Following the transfer hearing, the circuit court entered an order on September 4, 2014, denying appellant's motions to transfer his cases to juvenile court. This timely appeal followed.

Appellant's first argument is that the circuit court erred in denying his motions to transfer his cases to the juvenile division of circuit court when it failed to make findings required by Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318(h)(1). Appellant specifically argues that the circuit court failed to make written findings regarding whether the protection of ...


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