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Scott v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

January 15, 2020

FREDRICK EUGENE SCOTT, JR. APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE GARLAND COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 26CR-18-538] HONORABLE MARCIA R. HEARNSBERGER, JUDGE

          David M. Littlejohn, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Michael Zangari, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          N. MARK KLAPPENBACH, JUDGE

         Appellant Fredrick Eugene Scott, Jr., was charged in the Garland County Circuit Court with terroristic act, a Class Y felony, and two counts of first-degree battery, Class B felonies. The circuit court denied Scott's motion to transfer his case to the juvenile division of the circuit court, and Scott has now filed this interlocutory appeal from that order. Pursuant to Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 4-3(k)(1) and Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), Scott's counsel on appeal has filed a motion to withdraw as counsel on the ground that the appeal is without merit. The motion is accompanied by an abstract, addendum, and brief concerning the proceedings related to the motion to transfer. Counsel explains in his brief that the denial of the motion to transfer was the only adverse ruling below and that this ruling presents no meritorious ground for reversal. Scott has filed pro se points for reversal, and the State has filed a response.

         Under Arkansas law, a prosecuting attorney has discretion to charge a juvenile in either the juvenile or criminal division of the circuit court if the juvenile is fourteen or fifteen years old when the juvenile engages in conduct that, if committed by an adult, would be battery in the first degree or terroristic act. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-318(c)(2) (Repl. 2015). However, a defendant charged in the criminal division may file a motion to transfer to the juvenile division, and the circuit court must conduct a hearing to determine whether to transfer the case. See Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-318(e). The moving party bears the burden of proving that the case should be transferred. R.J.W. v. State, 2017 Ark.App. 382.

         In deciding whether to transfer the case, the circuit court must consider and make written findings on all the following factors:

(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 antisocial behavior or patterns of physical violence;
(6) The sophistication or 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 judge of the juvenile division of circuit court that are likely to rehabilitate the juvenile before the expiration of ...

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