JAMES MOORE, JR. APPELLANT
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE LAFAYETTE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 37CR-18-5]
HONORABLE KIRK JOHNSON, JUDGE.
C. Self, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Jason Michael Johnson,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
W. GRUBER, Chief Judge
January 10, 2018, appellant James Moore, Jr., was charged in
the Lafayette County Circuit Court with aggravated robbery
and aggravated assault, class Y and D felonies respectively.
Appellant filed a motion to transfer his case to the juvenile
division of circuit court on the basis that he was seventeen
years old at the time of the alleged offenses. The circuit
court denied the motion, and a timely notice of appeal
followed. Appellant argues that the circuit court's
denial of his motion to transfer is clearly erroneous. We
disagree and affirm.
factual issues, as appellant points out in his brief, are not
in dispute. On December 20, 2017, appellant went to the home
of the victim, Annie Mae Briggs, intending to get money from
her in a robbery. At the hearing on April 26, 2018, Jeff
Black, chief of police in Stamps, testified that he
investigated the incident. He stated that Ms. Briggs is a
seventy-four-year-old woman who is severely diabetic, an
amputee, and in a wheelchair. She sells snacks, candy, and
drinks out of her home and has done so for the past forty to
fifty years. Ms. Briggs wears a money bag tied around her
waist because she is in a wheelchair. She told Chief Black
that some juveniles came to her home that evening, and one
purchased chips. All the juveniles left except appellant, who
stayed in the house and asked Ms. Briggs if she had change.
Appellant then grabbed the money bag to try to rip it loose,
and when it did not come loose, he began to cut the bag off
with a knife. As a result, Ms. Briggs's hand was
cut, requiring stitches from "the tip of her [pinky]
finger back down to nearly her wrist."
Black testified that appellant was cooperative when he and
his father came to Chief Black's office after being
contacted. Appellant was informed of his Miranda
rights, and he signed the rights form along with his father.
Appellant admitted having been at the residence and taking
$41 from the victim, but he denied any cutting. When asked if
there was any indication from appellant's statement that
it was a planned event, Chief Black testified as follows:
I took that it was a plan because [appellant] mentioned that
he was not happy being there in Stamps. He had been sent up
there from, I believe, the Dallas area, possibly by his mom.
I'm not real sure about that. But [appellant] was wanting
to get enough money to get a bus ride and go back to the
Black was not aware of anything on appellant's record.
mother, Cynthia Moore, testified that appellant had been
living in Stamps for six months to a year at the time of the
incident. She stated that there was no particular reason she
sent appellant to live with his father. She stated that
appellant had not been in any criminal trouble and only had
"regular trouble" at school, such as
"detention or things of that nature." There had
been no suspensions or expulsions. When asked if she knew why
appellant wanted to be back in Dallas, Moore guessed he
missed his family as most of his family is in Dallas.
the hearing, the circuit court entered a May 3, 2018 order
denying the motion to transfer.
juvenile-transfer proceedings, the 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) (Repl.
2015). The movant bears the burden of proving the necessity
of transfer from the criminal to the juvenile division of
circuit court. Sharp v. State, 2018 Ark.App. 255, at
8, 548 S.W.3d 846, 851. Clear and convincing evidence is
proof that will produce in the trier of fact a firm
conviction as to the allegation sought to be established.
to Arkansas Code Annotated section 9-27-318(g), the circuit
court must consider the following ten factors at the transfer
(1) The seriousness of the alleged offense and whether the
protection of society requires prosecution in the criminal