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Maddox v. State

Arkansas Supreme Court
931 S.W.2d 438 (1996)


Facts

Less than four months before turning 18, Kristy Maddox (defendant) was charged with criminal mischief for throwing a glass soda bottle at a car. Kristy requested transfer to juvenile court. Two witnesses appeared at the hearing. Kristy’s mother, Pamela, said Kristy lived at home, helped around the house while she pursued her GED, and planned to attend college. Pamela said that they had a good relationship, but that she called the police once for an undisclosed family disturbance. The second witness was Sherry Kinnamon, whose car Kristy hit with the bottle. Kinnamon was driving with two passengers in her car when a truck started tailgating her. The truck repeatedly pulled alongside her car with its occupants yelling obscenities, but it would not pass, even when Kinnamon slowed to a crawl. Kinnamon said that when she finally sped back up, the truck pulled alongside her, and Kristy leaned out the window and threw the bottle, denting Kinnamon’s hood and cracking her windshield. The trial judge found Kristy’s act both serious and violent. The judge emphasized that the incident was harassing and referred to another incident in which a person was killed because someone threw something at his car. The judge also noted Kristy had no prior criminal record and said no evidence had been introduced regarding her likelihood of rehabilitation. The judge nonetheless denied transfer to juvenile court. Kristy appealed, arguing that the judge did not recognize her mother’s testimony related to her prospects for rehabilitation, and that criminal mischief is a property crime, not a violent crime. The prosecution countered that criminal mischief is a felony, Kristy’s act was violent, and rehabilitation was irrelevant absent any showing that Kristy was remorseful or accepted responsibility for her acts. Finally, the prosecution argued that Kristy’s turning 18 before the hearing was enough by itself to try her as an adult.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

Dissent

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