FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CR-2013-1934-6.
HONORABLE MARK LINDSAY, JUDGE.
APPELLANT: TONEY BAKER BRASUELL.
APPELLEE: VALERIE GLOVER FORTNER; ATTORNEY GENERAL.
HOOFMAN, Judge. VAUGHT and BROWN, JJ., agree.
Neil Taylor Nelson appeals from the Washington County Circuit
Court's order denying his motion to transfer his case to
the juvenile division or, in the alternative, to extend
juvenile jurisdiction. On appeal, Nelson argues that the
circuit court erred in denying his motion. We affirm.
November 19, 2013, Nelson (DOB 11/22/95) was charged as an
adult with four counts of raping his eleven-year-old cousin
in violation of Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-14-103
(Repl. 2013). On March 19, 2015, Nelson filed a motion to
transfer his case to the juvenile division or, in the
alternative, to extend juvenile jurisdiction based on the
fact that he was seventeen years of age when the offenses
were alleged to have been committed.
juvenile-transfer hearing was held on May 7, 2015. Detective
Rick Frisby testified that Mary Rose Morelik, Nelson's
step-grandmother, brought her granddaughter, H.M., to the
Springdale Police Department in November 2013 because she
suspected that H.M. had been sexually assaulted by Nelson
According to Frisby, H.M. disclosed during the interview that
Nelson had used a spoon to unlock her bedroom door and had
digitally penetrated her. H.M. indicated that her
grandparents had been locking her bedroom door in an attempt
to protect her
from Nelson, who also resided in the home. Frisby testified
that a fork with broken tines was found inside the residence,
and Morelik informed him that Nelson had used the fork to
unlock H.M.'s door. Nelson was interviewed and admitted
that he had sexual intercourse with H.M. on four separate
occasions. He further admitted that it was his idea and
indicated that it was a mistake.
Kelly testified that he had been Nelson's probation
officer from February 2012 until August 2013. Kelly indicated
that Nelson had previously been adjudicated a juvenile
delinquent in 2012 based on his commission of several
criminal offenses, including theft of property and breaking
or entering. Kelly stated that Nelson did not do well on
probation initially, and it was revoked. Kelly testified that
Nelson then received a second term of probation, which he
successfully completed in August 2013. According to Kelly, if
Nelson's current case was transferred to the juvenile
division, he would not be eligible for any rehabilitative
services through the juvenile court because he was older than
eighteen years of age. Kelly stated that the only option
would be to refer Nelson to the Department of Youth Services
(DYS) so that he could be placed in one of two inpatient
juvenile detention facilities.
Tanner, the juvenile ombudsman who provides postdispositional
advocacy for youth committed to DYS, also testified that
Nelson would be limited to two inpatient treatment programs
through DYS due to his age. Tanner indicated that these
programs would require a minimum of twelve to fourteen months
and that Nelson would then need to undergo a risk assessment
or another psychosexual evaluation prior to placement in the
community. Tanner stated that all of this treatment would
have to be completed by Nelson's twenty-first birthday.
Tanner testified that another option would be an
extended-juvenile-jurisdiction (EJJ) designation. With that
option, Nelson would have the right to a jury trial in the
juvenile division. If the allegations were found to be true,
Nelson would still have to complete treatment through DYS and
then undergo outside treatment, a risk assessment, and
another hearing to determine whether he had been
rehabilitated. Again, Tanner testified that all of these
requirements would have to be completed before Nelson turned
twenty-one years old.
Hellwig testified that she was Nelson's special-education
teacher at Springdale High School. She indicated that
Nelson's academic performance was poor and that he read
and wrote on a first-grade level. She stated, however, that
Nelson did not put forth a lot of effort in her classroom.
Hellwig indicated that Nelson was aware of ...