STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 17JV-15-275]
HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE. AFFIRMED
Lisa-Marie Norris, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Amanda Jegley, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge
appeals his delinquency adjudication based on possession of
drug paraphernalia and argues that the State failed to
present sufficient evidence to support the adjudication. He
also argues that the circuit court erred in denying his
motion to suppress a statement given to his principal and a
school resource officer. We hold that A.W.'s arguments
are not preserved for our review and affirm.
November 2015, the State filed a petition for adjudication of
thirteen-year-old A.W. for possession of drug paraphernalia
in violation of Ark. Code Ann. § 5-64-443(a)(1) (Repl.
2005). That subsection provides that a person who possesses
drug paraphernalia with the purpose to use the drug
paraphernalia to inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise
introduce into the human body a controlled substance is
guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Id.
circuit court held a delinquency hearing on 20 January 2016.
Jennifer Feeny, the assistant principal at A.W.'s school,
testified that she knew A.W. and that an incident occurred
with him on 22 October 2015. Feeny said that she met with
A.W. after he had been brought to her office for texting
during a school assembly. She explained that she questioned
him about what he was texting, which "led to further
discussion, " and A.W. admitted taking a
"medication" from another student. After that
admission, Feeny searched A.W.'s backpack and found a
plastic Gatorade bottle that had been reconfigured, and A.W.
said that it was a bong. Feeny stated that the principal, Mr.
Mitchell, was also in the room, but she did not recall
whether an officer was also in the room. Feeny testified that
A.W. was suspended for eight days. She also said that A.W.
was a very good student and that she was surprised to find
that in his backpack.
cross-examination, Feeny confirmed that there is an officer
at the school, typically in full uniform, but again said she
did not remember if the officer was present on October 22.
Feeny also explained that she called A.W.'s mother
immediately after talking to A.W. and searching his backpack
and that A.W. was not free to leave her office while she was
questioning him. After finding the bong, Feeny said, she
notified A.W.'s mother and Officer Richison, who is a
police officer employed by the Van Buren School District. She
also said that she had A.W. write out a statement of what had
redirect, Feeny explained that the school district has a
search policy that allows school officials to search a
student's bag if any issue regarding drugs or weapons is
raised. She said that the policy is contained in the student
handbook that both parents and students sign and return to
Corporal Duane Richison testified that he was the school
resource officer at A.W.'s school. He explained that he
remembered the incident involving A.W. but did not remember
whether he was in the room when A.W.'s backpack was
searched. According to Richison, he spoke to A.W. after the
drug paraphernalia had been found, and A.W. said that he had
smoked marijuana before with that bong. Richison said he
could smell burnt residue of marijuana in the bottle and that
the bottle had been seized by him and entered into evidence
at the police department.
cross-examination, Richison said he did not believe he asked
A.W. any questions prior to his mother's arrival.
Richison also confirmed that A.W. was not read his rights
while being questioned by the vice principal. Richison said
that he was present when A.W. wrote his statement.
State rested its case, and A.W.'s counsel moved to
dismiss, arguing that
the State has not shown beyond a reasonable doubt that my
client is guilty of the possession of drug paraphernalia
based on essentially what we claim is inadmissible evidence.
So conveniently both the administrator and the officer seem
not to remember whether the office[r] was present during this
line of questioning that took place in the principal's
office. . . . His mother was never called. No
Miranda was ever given. It's very possible the
officer was there in full uniform while all of this was going
on. The search took place, there was questioning, there was a
written statement, during none that was it-was his mother
ever called. . . . Obviously he wasn't free just to get
up and walk out, so I do believe it was a custodial
situation. . . . His mother wasn't called until after the
search, the questioning, the written statement. Judge with
that we'd just argue that this is a violation of