from the Vigo Circuit Court Trial Court Cause No.
84C01-1804-JD-417 The Honorable Sarah K. Mullican, Judge The
Honorable Daniel W. Kelly, Magistrate
Attorneys for Appellant Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Justin F. Roebel Supervising Deputy Attorney
General Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Joel M. Schumm Riley L. Parr Certified
Legal Intern Appellate Clinic Indiana University McKinney
School of Law Indianapolis, Indiana
SHARPNACK, SENIOR JUDGE.
of the Case
The State filed a petition alleging that D.R. is a juvenile
delinquent. The State also moved the juvenile court to waive
jurisdiction over D.R. and transfer the case to criminal
court. The court denied the State's motion. In this
discretionary interlocutory appeal, the State asks this Court
to determine that the juvenile court should have waived
jurisdiction over D.R. D.R. cross-appeals, requesting
dismissal of the State's appeal. We deny D.R.'s
request to dismiss the appeal and affirm the judgment of the
The State raises one issue, which we restate as: whether the
juvenile court abused its discretion in denying the
State's request to waive juvenile jurisdiction over D.R.
On cross-appeal, D.R. argues that the State has no authority
to seek discretionary interlocutory review of a juvenile
court's refusal to waive jurisdiction over a juvenile.
and Procedural History
We set forth the facts as alleged in the probable cause
affidavit and at the evidentiary hearing on the State's
motion to waive jurisdiction, keeping in mind that the
juvenile court has not yet held a final hearing on the merits
of the State's case. On April 6, 2018, an officer was
dispatched to investigate an automobile accident in Vigo
County. One of the drivers, Regina Hair, was trapped in her
vehicle, unconscious. She died later that day.
Seventeen-year-old D.R., who was standing near his vehicle
with another minor, stated that he had also been involved in
the accident. He told the officer that he was driving when he
crossed the center line and struck Hair's car head-on. A
witness at the scene stated that D.R. had passed him on a
double-yellow line at a high rate of speed prior to the
accident. The witness "suspected" that D.R. had
been racing another vehicle that had also passed him. Tr. p.
D.R. had dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes, but a portable
breath test showed .000% blood alcohol content. D.R.'s
passenger told an officer that D.R. had smoked marijuana
earlier that day. Emergency medical personnel transported
D.R. to a hospital for treatment. Hospital personnel tested
D.R.'s urine and discovered the presence of marijuana.
Later in the evening, an assessment worker with the Vigo
County Department of Child Services (DCS) performed a drug
screen on D.R., and the screen showed 3.3 nanograms of THC in
his blood. The DCS employee characterized the result as
"low level." Id. at 40.
The State took D.R. into custody after he was released from
medical care. On April 10, 2018, the State filed a petition
alleging D.R. was a delinquent child. The State claimed D.R.
had committed acts that, if committed by an adult, would have
amounted to the offenses of reckless homicide, a Level 5
felony; and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance
or its metabolite in the person's blood resulting in
death, a Level 5 felony. The State also filed a motion for
waiver of juvenile court jurisdiction. The court determined
there was probable cause to detain D.R. D.R., by counsel,
requested a psychological evaluation, and the court granted
On May 24, 2018, the juvenile court held a hearing on the
State's motion to waive jurisdiction. That same day, the
court denied the motion, concluding "the minor has
proven by a preponderance of the evidence that waiver of
juvenile jurisdiction would not be in the best interests of
the minor and the safety and welfare of the community."
Appellant's App. Vol. 2, p. 44.
The State filed a motion to correct error. On June 6, 2018,
the juvenile court denied the State's motion to correct
error, reaffirming that "the presumption in favor of
waiver has been overcome." Id. at 55. The court
later ordered D.R. to be placed in a residential treatment
facility pending disposition of the case and, at D.R.'s
request, further ordered that he be enrolled in a high school
equivalency program while at the facility.
Next, the State filed a motion to certify orders for
interlocutory appeal. The juvenile court granted the motion,
and the State asked this Court to accept jurisdiction over
the appeal. On August 3, 2018, this Court's motions panel
accepted the appeal.
Cross-Appeal - Appellate Jurisdiction
We first address D.R.'s cross-appeal claim. D.R. argues
that the State lacks the
authority to seek interlocutory review of the juvenile
court's denial of a motion to waive jurisdiction. Whether
the State may appeal the court's order is a question of
law. State v. I.T., 4 N.E.3d 1139, 1142 (Ind. ...