FROM THE WHITE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 73CR-17-719]
HONORABLE ROBERT EDWARDS, JUDGE
Paul Petty, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Jason Michael Johnson,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
MARK KLAPPENBACH, JUDGE
Frederick Randof was charged with manslaughter, a Class C
felony. The State alleged that he recklessly caused the death
of A.R., his nine-week-old daughter. Dawson was seventeen
years old when A.R. was hospitalized on June 24, 2017, and
succumbed to her injuries on June 28, 2017. The White County
Circuit Court denied Dawson's motion to transfer his case
to the juvenile division of circuit court, and he now
appeals. We affirm.
transfer hearing was held on January 18, 2018. Dawson and his
father, David Randof, testified in support of his motion. At
the time of the alleged offense, Dawson was living with his
girlfriend, Elizabeth, at her parents' home in order to
help take care of A.R. Dawson said that his mother had
allowed him to live there. Since A.R.'s death, he had
moved back in with David and was repeating the tenth grade.
He was two years behind in school because he had dropped out
of the tenth grade when A.R. was born, and his mother had
previously pulled him out of school in the eighth grade.
Dawson had lived with his mother "at times," but
David said that she had issues with drugs and had tried to be
Dawson's friend instead of his parent. David said that
Dawson's maturity had suffered as a result of his missing
school, but he was a typical teenage boy who liked
extracurricular activities and did not really like school.
David said that Dawson was now in a much more stable
environment in his home. David acknowledged that after Dawson
had been interviewed by police, Dawson told him that he had
Terry Blanton of the Searcy Police Department testified about
the investigation into A.R.'s death. Emergency services
were called to the home at 5:47 a.m. on June 24, 2017. A.R.
was found gasping for air and was transported to the local
hospital. Hospital personnel discovered bleeding on the brain
and possible broken bones and said that A.R.'s parents
were not able to explain how these injuries occurred. A.R.
was ¶own to Arkansas Children's Hospital and treated
by Dr. Esquivel, who informed Blanton that A.R. had multiple
brain bleeds, a spinal bleed, a spiral fracture of the right
arm, a broken right leg, and five rib fractures in various
stages of healing. Dr. Esquivel explained that some of the
injuries were fresh but others were estimated to be seven to
ten days old.
put together a timeline leading up to the 911 call.
A.R.'s grandmother, Susan, told him that she had fed A.R.
and put her back to sleep several times on the night of June
23 and morning of June 24, but Dawson had cared for A.R.
briefly when she woke up around 1:00 a.m. Susan last fed A.R.
around 5:00 a.m., after which Elizabeth drove Susan to work.
Susan said that A.R. was crying when they left the house.
Dawson was alone with A.R. from 5:20 to 5:47 a.m. when
Elizabeth returned home and found A.R. limp and unresponsive.
interviews with police, Dawson said that approximately one
week earlier he had tripped while carrying A.R., and she was
smashed between him and a door frame. Dawson said that this
occurred at a house out of town while he was walking up steps
from the garage to the house. However, Blanton later
confirmed that this house did not have steps leading from the
garage to the house. Furthermore, Dr. Esquivel told Blanton
that the type of fracture in A.R.'s leg could not have
been caused from that type of impact; instead, the fracture
was caused by a jerking motion while A.R.'s legs were
dangling and was commonly seen with "shaken baby
syndrome." In his last interview with Blanton, Dawson
admitted having shaken A.R. at around 1:00 a.m. to try to get
her to stop crying. The medical examiner, however, told
Blanton that the acute closed-head injuries did not occur
then because the extensive brain injuries would have caused
A.R. to be unresponsive within a few minutes and she would
not have subsequently woken up and taken a bottle.
autopsy revealed that A.R. died of acute closed-head injuries
and that healing closed-head injuries and multiple healing
skeletal fractures contributed to her death. A.R.'s
medical records showed that in the weeks before her death,
she had experienced episodes of vomiting and diarrhea and was
treated at Children's Hospital on June 21 and 22 for
dehydration. The medical examiner opined that these symptoms
may have resulted from the closed-head injuries and skeletal
fractures that A.R. had sustained before the acute head
injuries inflicted on June 24. He noted that her injuries
were not grossly visible upon external examination. The
medical examiner stated that the older trauma showed that
A.R. had been the victim of repetitive physical abuse.
Light Bridges, the White County juvenile intake officer,
testified that the juvenile-treatment options for Dawson
would be limited because his eighteenth birthday was only
four months away. Bridges said that most treatment facilities
discharged at eighteen years old but that the Division of
Youth Services could keep him until his twenty-first
birthday. Dawson's only history with the juvenile court
system was a truancy case initiated by the school district in
his eighth-grade year that was closed with no problems.
prosecuting attorney has the discretion to charge a juvenile
in either the juvenile or criminal division of circuit court
if the juvenile was at least sixteen years old when he or she
allegedly engaged in conduct that, if committed by an adult,
would be a felony. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-318(c)(1)
(Repl. 2015). On the motion of the court or any party, the
court in which the criminal charges have been filed shall
conduct a hearing to determine whether to transfer the case
to another division of circuit court. Ark. Code Ann. §
9-27-318(e). The moving party bears the burden of proving
that the case should be transferred. Kiser v. State,
2016 Ark.App. 198, 487 S.W.3d 374. The circuit court shall
order the case transferred to another division of circuit
court only upon a finding by clear and convincing evidence
that the case should be transferred. Ark. Code Ann. §
9-27-318(h)(2). Clear and convincing evidence is that degree
of proof that will produce in the trier of fact a firm
conviction as to the allegation sought to be established.
Kiser, supra. We will not reverse a circuit
court's determination whether to transfer a case unless
the decision is clearly erroneous. Id. A finding is
clearly erroneous when, although there is evidence to support
it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with a
firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.
circuit court must consider the following factors at a
(1) The seriousness of the alleged offense and whether the
protection of society requires prosecution in the criminal