FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 72CR-15-702]
HONORABLE MARK LINDSAY, JUDGE
McLemore Law, LTD, by: Kent McLemore, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Ashley Argo Priest, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
KENNETH S. HIXSON, JUDGE
Vasquez-Sanchez appeals from the Washington County Circuit
Court's denial of his motion to transfer his case to the
juvenile division of circuit court. Appellant argues on
appeal that the trial court's denial of his motion to
transfer was clearly erroneous. We affirm.
was charged on April 13, 2015, by felony information with one
count of accomplice to capital murder, a Class Y felony, and
one count of accomplice to unlawful discharge of a firearm
from a vehicle, a Class Y felony. The information alleged
that the crimes occurred on or about April 11, 2015. The
information further alleged that appellant and "others
drove around in a vehicle, looking for someone to kill. When
they reached the victim's residence, an accomplice fired
several shots at him, killing him[.]" Thereafter,
appellant filed a motion to transfer to the juvenile division
of circuit court on October 18, 2016. A hearing was held on
February 22, 2017.
hearing, appellant presented the testimony of five witnesses.
Jeane Mack, the director of the Juvenile Detention Center
(JDC) in Fayetteville, Arkansas, testified that he was
familiar with appellant, as appellant has been a resident at
JDC more than one time. Mack testified that appellant never
had an incident report or a disciplinary report filed against
Orellana-Frisby testified that she is the chief juvenile
probation officer for the Washington County Juvenile Court
and that she had been appellant's probation officer in
the past. Orellana-Frisby testified that appellant has had
multiple separate contacts with the juvenile court system,
dating back to 2011, including charges of assault, public
intoxication, domestic battery in the third degree,
shoplifting, and criminal trespass. Appellant had been placed
on probation in some of those cases, in which he violated the
terms and conditions of his probation, and some of those
cases eventually were dismissed. Orellana-Frisby testified
that during those contacts, appellant had received services.
Furthermore, Orellana-Frisby testified that because appellant
was almost twenty years old at the time of the hearing, the
only services that could be offered through juvenile court
that she knew of would be to provide probation supervision,
an ankle monitor, and a referral to Decision Point.
Additionally, if appellant was sentenced to Division of Youth
Services, a correctional facility for youth, he could receive
more intensive services there but only until he reached the
age of twenty-one.
Thornton testified that she is a head
family-in-need-of-services (FINS) officer for the Washington
County Juvenile Court and was familiar with appellant, as
appellant had an active FINS case from November 2013 to April
2014. Although Thornton testified that she was not
appellant's officer in that case, appellant's officer
reported to her, but Thornton sat in at all of
appellant's hearings. Thornton recalled that appellant
was polite to the FINS staff and that he was placed in
Jennifer Martinez's custody due to "turmoil in the
home." Thornton additionally testified, however, that
appellant was not compliant with all of his orders, including
violations for picking up new charges and frequently running
away. Appellant was placed on an ankle monitor on two
separate occasions and ordered into the Juvenile Detention
sister, Michelle Villalpando, testified that appellant was
never violent to her or to his friends. Villalpando testified
that although appellant did not have a driver's license,
appellant's father had asked appellant to take his
girlfriend to work in his father's car the day of the
Martinez testified that she was given custody of appellant
for periods of time and that appellant had been dating her
daughter. Martinez's daughter and appellant have a child
together, and Martinez opined that appellant is a good
father. Martinez admitted that appellant frequently ran away
from her home when he was in her custody and that she had to
report that to the court. Martinez further testified that
appellant had been living with his parents when he was
arrested for the instant charges.
State offered the testimony of Detective Michael Hendrix.
Detective Hendrix testified that he had responded to and
investigated the shooting that led to appellant's instant
charges. Detective Hendrix explained that he had previous
involvement with appellant through appellant's activity
with the Savage Locos street gang. On the day of the
shooting, Detective Hendrix spoke with Eddie Rodriguez
(Rodriguez) and Angel Torres (Torres), who were standing in
the driveway with the victim, Jimmy Rodriguez (Jimmy), at the
time of the shooting. Rodriguez stated that appellant, who
was known as "Shadow, " drove by slowly in a blue
Ford Focus one time and then stopped the second time around.
to Torres, appellant yelled out to the group, asking what
gang they claimed, and Torres responded "BPM, "
meaning Brown Pride Midgets. Jimmy responded "SD, "
meaning Springdale Delinquents, and a brief argument
followed. Rodriguez saw the passenger point a gun and fire
three shots, striking Jimmy in the stomach. Rodriguez and
Torres jumped behind a car that was parked in the driveway to
avoid the gunfire. The car then drove away.
Hendrix found the blue Ford Focus, which was registered to
appellant's father, at Jesus Lara's house, which was
about three blocks from where the shooting had occurred.
Detective Hendrix interviewed the people at the home,
including Vivianna Romero, whose boyfriend, Jose Delatorre,
was also in the vehicle at the time of the shooting. Romero
told Detective Hendrix that appellant brought the gun used in
the shooting into the home and placed it on the living room
table. Romero further stated that they took the gun and
buried it on the south side of the home and that she heard
appellant say that Rodolfo Martinez had shot Jimmy.
Romero's brother, told Detective Hendrix that appellant,
Delatorre, Martinez, and Jaime Manzano came into the home
after the shooting. Appellant and Manzano asked Laura to hide
the gun, and appellant told him that they had just done a
drive-by and shot someone. Lara testified that they had
grabbed a shovel from the garage, dug a hole on the south
side of the home, and placed the gun in it. They then took
the shovel and put it in an upstairs closet, where Detective
Hendrix later located the shovel after receiving permission
to conduct a search.
confirmed that appellant was driving the vehicle on the day
of the shooting and that Martinez was sitting in the front
passenger seat. Delatorre and Manzano were sitting in the
backseat. Delatorre explained that they were out looking for
another Wicked Brown Suspects gang member, Pascual Carbajal,
to retaliate because Carbajal had beaten up Manzano days
before the shooting. Therefore, Delatorre indicated that
Jimmy was not the intended target and ...