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A.M. v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

September 4, 2019

A.M. APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE MILLER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT NO. 46JV-17-35] HONORABLE KIRK JOHNSON, JUDGE

          Robert M. "Robby" Golden, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Chris R. Warthen, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          BRANDON J. HARRISON, JUDGE

         A.M. appeals the circuit court's order that he be adjudicated pursuant to extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ). He argues that several statutory factors weighed heavily in his favor and clearly outweighed the factors supporting an EJJ designation. We affirm the circuit court.

         On 3 February 2017, twelve-year-old A.M. was accused of committing capital murder and aggravated robbery. The State's petition explained that A.M. had entered a convenience store, shot the clerk seven times with a pistol, and taken a vapor cigarette pack and headphones. That same day, the State also moved for EJJ designation.

         An "extended juvenile jurisdiction offender" is defined as a juvenile designated to be subject to juvenile disposition and an adult sentence imposed by the circuit court. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-303(23) (Supp. 2017). The State may request an EJJ designation if the juvenile is under thirteen years of age at the time of the alleged offense and is charged with capital murder or murder in the first degree. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-501(a)(1) (Repl. 2015). The party requesting the EJJ designation has the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that such a designation is warranted. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-503(b) (Repl. 2015). The circuit court is required to make written findings, and it must consider the following factors when deciding whether to designate a juvenile as an EJJ offender:

(1) The seriousness of the alleged offense and whether the protection of society requires prosecution as an extended juvenile jurisdiction offender;
(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 delinquent and, if so, whether the offenses were against persons or property and any other previous history of antisocial behavior or patterns of physical violence;
(6) The sophistication and maturity of the juvenile, as determined by consideration of the juvenile's home, environment, emotional attitude, pattern of living, or desire to be treated as an adult;
(7) Whether there are facilities or programs available to the court that are likely to rehabilitate the juvenile prior to the ...

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