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Butler v. State
Arkansas Supreme Court
922 S.W.2d 685 (1996)
Fifteen-year-old Louis Butler (defendant) and Myron McClendon allegedly robbed delivery drivers of pizzas and cash twice at gunpoint and a third time by threatening the driver with a rock or brick. The prosecution (plaintiff) filed aggravated-robbery and property-theft charges against Butler in circuit court for trial as an adult. Butler requested transfer to juvenile court. The circuit court held a hearing and heard testimony from Butler’s parents, his alternative-school counselor, and a police officer who described the robberies and said Butler had confessed to two of them. The officer also submitted two delinquency petitions previously filed against Butler in juvenile court. The judge said that after reviewing the evidence and law, “there’s no question this case should not be in juvenile, based on the circumstances of it, [Butler’s] participation, et cetera.” Butler did not request detailed findings or otherwise challenge that order in circuit court and appealed instead. Butler argued that (1) Arkansas law does not list property theft as a crime for which 15-year-olds are triable as adults, (2) not enough evidence supported trying Butler as an adult, and (3) failing to provide detailed findings denied Butler due process.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Corbin, J.)
Dissent (Roaf, J.)
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