Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Allen v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

April 11, 2018



          William R. Simpson, Jr., Public Defender, by: Clint Miller, Deputy Public Defender, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: David L. Eanes, Jr., Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          DAVID M. GLOVER, Judge

         Davin Allen was charged in Pulaski County Circuit Court with two counts of aggravated robbery, Class Y felonies, and two counts of theft of property by threat of serious physical injury, Class B felonies. He filed a motion to transfer his case to the juvenile division, which was denied by the circuit court. Allen has filed an interlocutory appeal of the denial of his motion to transfer, arguing the circuit court's decision was clearly erroneous. We affirm the denial of Allen's motion to transfer.

         At the hearing on Allen's motion to transfer, Detective Julio Gil of the Little Rock Police Department testified that he responded to a report of a robbery in southwest Little Rock on July 31, 2016. The victims, Jose Gonzalez and Gustavo Martinez, both Hispanic males, told Detective Gil four black males had robbed them at gunpoint, taking their cell phones and wallets. On August 8, Mr. Gonzalez brought his new phone to the police station to show the police that on his iCloud there were pictures of people he did not know, including pictures of the people who had robbed him. Through these pictures, Detective Gil identified three suspects, and Mr. Gonzalez, using a photo spread, positively identified Allen and Brian Welch as two of the persons who had robbed him and tentatively identified Keith Harris as a third suspect. Detective Gil was unable to get Mr. Martinez to come to the police station, explaining at the hearing that many people in the Hispanic community were unwilling to cooperate with the police in fear of being deported.

         Gil stated Brian Welch gave a statement admitting that he, Allen, and Harris followed the victims in their vehicle until it stopped, at which time Allen approached the vehicle holding a gun, and Harris and another person known to Welch only as Johnathan got the two victims out of the vehicle. Welch admitted he took a cell phone from the vehicle.

         Talisa Obi, Allen's aunt, testified in Allen's defense. She stated that Allen, who was currently attending Central High School, had lived with her from the beginning of school last year until he was arrested; prior to that, Allen had lived with his mother and attended Hall High School. Obi explained Allen had been retained twice in school; his behavior changed after transferring to Central; he lost interest in sports; and he began to associate with a "different type of crowd." Obi testified Allen had been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and was prescribed medication but had stopped taking it; he had also received some outpatient therapy. Allen's mother, Obi's sister, could not be in court for the hearing due to training requirements associated with her new job, but Obi said her sister had attempted to get Allen help from school counselors and juvenile services, only to be told there was nothing they could do because he had not committed any crimes.

         On cross-examination, Obi explained she is not Allen's guardian, but had taken him into her care so her husband could be a father figure to Allen and to get him out of his previous neighborhood. She agreed no one had petitioned the juvenile court for a family-in-need-of-services (FINS) case to be opened; she said no one had mentioned FINS as an option; and she could not do anything because she is not Allen's legal guardian. Obi acknowledged Allen had three other cases currently pending in juvenile court, but she stated Allen had never been "convicted" of a crime in the juvenile system or placed on probation.

         Kantris Oliver, an employee of the Division of Youth Services (DYS), testified DYS could offer Allen mental-health services and life-adaptive skills, as well as individual, group, and family counseling. Oliver was familiar with ODD, stating it was a common diagnosis for DYS youth; DYS would be well suited to treat Allen for ODD; and there was a "good chance" DYS programs could rehabilitate Allen by the time he turned twenty-one. However, Oliver admitted she had not had an opportunity to interview Allen or anyone in his family and did not know anything about his particular needs except the information she had been provided by the public defender.

         A letter from Allen's mother was entered as an exhibit in which Janice Obi explained she was unable to be in court with Allen due to work. She stated Allen was a "great kid" who had been involved in sports but began hanging out with boys from his school and making poor choices, such as skipping school and letting his grades drop. She explained Allen had ODD and was taking medication. When she was unable to get help from the juvenile-detention center, she sent Allen to live with her sister. She wrote that she was willing to have Allen in her care under house arrest; however, she stated that she knew he did not play a part in the aggravated robbery for which he stood accused. Her plan if Allen was released was to place him in Job Corps to continue his education and training for a trade.

         On May 1, 2017, the circuit court entered an order denying Allen's motion to transfer. Allen appeals the decision, arguing it is clearly erroneous.

         Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318 (Repl. 2015) governs the transfer of criminal cases to juvenile court. Subsection (g) of the provision sets forth the ten factors a ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.