Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio recently set a March 26, 2012, hearing to determine whether Barberton teenager D'Marques Jones, 16, should be tried as an adult in connection with the rape and death of his 3-year-old half sister, Makayla.
Makayla died June 22, 2011, and a subsequent autopsy by the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death to be multiple "organ failure" from repeated sexual penetration.
Jones, who is currently being held in the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center, turned himself in November 2, and was charged with juvenile counts of rape and murder.
The determination as to whether to try Jones as a juvenile or adult will be made under Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) § 2152.12, which grants Ohio Juvenile Courts' the authority to transfer a case to the general (adult) division. O.R.C. § 2152.12(B) states that such a transfer may be made upon a finding that:
- The child was fourteen years of age or older at the time of the act charged.
- There is probable cause to believe that the child committed the act charged.
- The child is not amenable to care or rehabilitation within the juvenile system, and the safety of the community may require that the child be subject to adult sanctions.
In deciding whether to transfer a juvenile case, the Court is required conduct a balancing test to determine whether the factors enumerated in O.R.C. § 2152.12(D), indicating that the case should be transferred, are outweighed by the factors enumerated in O.R.C. § 2152.12(E), indicating that the case should not be transferred.
The O.R.C. § 2152.12(D) factors in favor of transfer are:
- The victim of the act charged suffered physical or psychological harm, or serious economic harm, as a result of the alleged act.
- The physical or psychological harm suffered by the victim due to the alleged act of the child was exacerbated because of the physical or psychological vulnerability or the age of the victim.
- The child's relationship with the victim facilitated the act charged.
- The child allegedly committed the act charged for hire or as a part of a gang or other organized criminal activity.
- The child had a firearm on or about the child's person or under the child's control at the time of the act charged, the act charged is not a violation of section 2923.12 of the Revised Code, and the child, during the commission of the act charged, allegedly used or displayed the firearm, brandished the firearm, or indicated that the child possessed a firearm.
- At the time of the act charged, the child was awaiting adjudication or disposition as a delinquent child, was under a community control sanction, or was on parole for a prior delinquent child adjudication or conviction.
- The results of any previous juvenile sanctions and programs indicate that rehabilitation of the child will not occur in the juvenile system.
- The child is emotionally, physically, or psychologically mature enough for the transfer.
- There is not sufficient time to rehabilitate the child within the juvenile system.
The O.R.C. § 2152.12(E) factors against transfer are:
- The victim induced or facilitated the act charged.
- The child acted under provocation in allegedly committing the act charged.
- The child was not the principal actor in the act charged, or, at the time of the act charged, the child was under the negative influence or coercion of another person.
- The child did not cause physical harm to any person or property, or have reasonable cause to believe that harm of that nature would occur, in allegedly committing the act charged.
- The child previously has not been adjudicated a delinquent child.
- The child is not emotionally, physically, or psychologically mature enough for the transfer.
- The child has a mental illness or is a mentally retarded person.
- There is sufficient time to rehabilitate the child within the juvenile system and the level of security available in the juvenile system provides a reasonable assurance of public safety.
The attorneys of DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder have extensive experience handling juvenile criminal charges, including challenging the transfer of cases from the juvenile court's authority. If you are facing juvenile criminal charges or have questions regarding Ohio's juvenile criminal law, contact the experienced Criminal Attorneys of DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today.