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Ealy v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

May 30, 2018

ADRIAN TYLER LEE EALY APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 17CR-17-747] HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE

          Lisa-Marie Norris, for appellant.

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

          MIKE MURPHY, Judge

         Appellant Adrian Ealy appeals the September 26, 2017 order from the Crawford County Circuit Court denying his motion to transfer to juvenile court. He argues that the circuit court's denial of his motion to transfer the case to juvenile court is clearly erroneous. We affirm.

         On July 24, 2017, Ealy was charged as an adult in the Crawford County Circuit Court with one count of delivery of less than 2 grams of methamphetamine, a Class C felony pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-64-422(b)(1) (Repl. 2016), with an enhanced penalty sought for distribution near certain facilities pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-64-411. Ealy, who was seventeen years old at the time of the criminal act alleged, filed a motion to transfer the case to the juvenile division of the circuit court. A brief hearing was held. Ealy did not call any witnesses in support of his motion.

         One witness was called by the state, Eric Flute, Ealy's probation officer. Flute testified about Ealy's prior charges: harassment at age 13, residential burglary at age 15, and a subsequent revocation of the juvenile probation and a finding of contempt for continued infractions and violations of his probations. Flute testified that, while in the juvenile system, Ealy had been sent through a variety of programs, including community service; various residential and out-patient drug, alcohol, and behavioral counseling programs; and C-Step boot camp. He said that none of the services were effective and that Ealy had "exhausted all services" that could be provided within the juvenile system. Flute testified that Ealy had multiple opportunities to obtain his GED but failed to do so, and that Ealy had to be removed from a boys' home for fighting and because he was discovered with a homemade shank. Flute said the only other thing they could do for Ealy within the juvenile system would be to commit him to the Division of Youth Services (DYS).

         After the hearing, the circuit court issued a four-page order denying Ealy's motion. Within the order, the court fulfilled its obligation to consider and make written findings of fact on all ten factors set out in Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318(g)-(h) (Repl. 2016). Ealy now files this interlocutory appeal, arguing that it was error to deny his motion for transfer where the court's decision was substantially based on findings unsupported by any evidence.

         Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318 governs the transfer of criminal cases to juvenile court. Subsection (g) of the provision sets forth the ten factors a circuit court is required to consider in a transfer hearing:

(1) The seriousness of the alleged offense and whether the protection of society requires prosecution in the criminal division of circuit court;
(2) Whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner;
(3) Whether the offense was against a person or property, with greater weight being given to offenses against persons, especially if personal injury resulted;
(4) The culpability of the juvenile, including the level of planning and participation in the alleged offense;
(5) The previous history of the juvenile, including whether the juvenile had been adjudicated a juvenile offender and, if so, whether the offenses were against persons or property, and any other previous history of ...

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