J.T.A. v. State, Case Number: J-2018-13

CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtLumpkin, Presiding Judge
Citation422 P.3d 778
Parties J.T.A., Appellant v. The STATE of Oklahoma, Appellee.
Decision Date24 May 2018
Docket NumberCase Number: J-2018-13

422 P.3d 778

J.T.A., Appellant
v.
The STATE of Oklahoma, Appellee.

Case Number: J-2018-13

Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma.

Decided: May 24, 2018


ALEX BRAMBLETT, RICHARD COUCH, ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER, 423 SOUTH BOULDER AVENUE, TULSA, OKLAHOMA 73103, COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT

JAMES PFEFFER, MARK MORGAN, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, 500 SOUTH BOULDER AVENUE, TULSA, OKLAHOMA 74103, COUNSEL FOR THE STATE

SUMMARY OPINION

Lumpkin, Presiding Judge:

¶ 1 Appellant, J.T.A., is charged pursuant to the Youthful Offender Act with Count 1—Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon, Count 2—Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon, Count 3—Conjoint Robbery, Count 4—Conjoint Robbery, and Count 5—Robbery First Degree, and/or in the alternative Conjoint Robbery in Tulsa County District Court Case No. YO-2017-30. On September 19, 2017, the State filed a motion to sentence Appellant as an adult. The motion was heard on December 19, 2017. The Honorable James Caputo, District Judge, granted the State's motion to sentence Appellant as an adult. From this Judgment, Appellant appeals, raising one proposition of error:

The District Court abused its discretion by granting the State's motion to impose an adult sentence when the State did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that there was good cause to believe that Appellant would not reasonably complete a plan of rehabilitation and that the public would not be adequately protected if Appellant were to be sentenced as a Youthful Offender.

¶ 2 Pursuant to Rule 11.2(A)(2), Rules of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals , Title 22, Ch.18, App. (2018), this appeal was automatically assigned to this Court's Accelerated Docket. The propositions or issues were presented to this Court in oral argument April 5, 2018, pursuant to Rule 11.2(E). Rule 11.2(E), Rules, supra . At the conclusion of oral argument, the parties were advised of the decision of this Court.

¶ 3 The District Court's order granting the State's motion to sentence Appellant as an adult is REVERSED and this case is REMANDED to the District Court of Tulsa County with instructions Appellant be treated and sentenced as a Youthful Offender.

¶ 4 Appellant was allegedly involved in a series of convenience store robberies taking place between June 22, 2016, and June 18, 2017. No evidence regarding the specifics of these crimes was introduced at the December 19, 2017, hearing on the State's motion.

422 P.3d 780

The only evidence received by the trial court at this hearing was the unsworn statement of Appellant's Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) caseworker Sarah Havenstrite and the sworn testimony of Appellant. At the conclusion of this hearing Judge Caputo ruled in favor of the State. On December 28, 2017, by agreement of the parties, the hearing had to be reopened for the limited purposes of allowing the State to introduce the OJA Psychological Evaluation and OJA Youthful Offender Study into evidence.1 The trial court filed its written order granting the State's motion on December 28, 2017.

¶ 5 The Psychological Evaluation does not discuss the details of Appellant's alleged crimes.2 Appellant's Psychological Evaluation states the Youthful Offender system could rehabilitate Appellant but for his age. Due to the eighteen year and five month age cutoff the Psychological Evaluation concludes Appellant could not complete a treatment program. See 10A O.S.2011, § 2-5-207. The Youthful Offender Study, prepared by Ms. Havenstrite, describes Appellant's amenability to treatment as "unknown."3 However, at the motion hearing Ms. Havenstrite stated her belief Appellant could be rehabilitated within the approximately one year of remaining treatment eligibility. Neither trial counsel, nor the trial court, questioned Ms. Havenstrite regarding the inconsistencies between her Youthful Offender Study and her in-court statements made at the motion hearing.

¶ 6 The Psychological Evaluation, Youthful Offender Study, and Ms. Havenstrite's statements at the motion hearing contain no specifics as to an appropriate plan of treatment unique to Appellant. All three include comments regarding types of treatment that might benefit Appellant but none reduced these concepts to a treatment plan designed...

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1 practice notes
  • State v. B.C.E.T., Case Number: JS-2017-1315
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • May 24, 2018
    ...of the appellee as a Youthful Offender. Sufficient evidence was not found in the record to support the lower court's ruling that priority 422 P.3d 778was given to the first three guidelines. Further, the lower court's findings for each criteria in Section 2-5-205(E) did not support the cour......
2 cases
  • State v. B.C.E.T., Case Number: JS-2017-1315
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • May 24, 2018
    ...of the appellee as a Youthful Offender. Sufficient evidence was not found in the record to support the lower court's ruling that priority 422 P.3d 778was given to the first three guidelines. Further, the lower court's findings for each criteria in Section 2-5-205(E) did not support the cour......
  • State v. K.B., JS-2022-348
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • September 22, 2022
    ...offender." 10A O.S.Supp.2018 § 2-5-208(D); G.G. v. State, 1999 OK CR 7, ¶ 12, 989 P.2d 936, 939; J.T.A. v. State, 2018 OK CR 12, ¶ 11, 422 P.3d 778, 781. Only if the trial court makes at least one of these findings by clear and convincing evidence is it required to certify the accused perso......

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