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K.C.G. v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 26, 2019

K.C.G., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Petitioner

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court, The Honorable Marilyn Moores, Judge, The Honorable Geoffrey Gaither, Magistrate, Trial Court Cause No. 49D09-1811-JD-1368, 49D09-1901-JD-88

          Attorney for Appellant Joel M. Schumm Indianapolis, Indiana.

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Ellen H. Meilaender Evan M. Comer Deputy Attorneys General Indianapolis, Indiana.

          MAY, JUDGE.

         [¶1] K.C.G. appeals his adjudication as a delinquent for committing Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm.[1] He presents two arguments for our review, which we restate as:

1. Whether, based on the plain language of the juvenile delinquency statute pursuant to which the State alleged K.C.G. was a delinquent, any juvenile could be adjudicated a delinquent for committing Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm; and
2. Whether the State presented sufficient evidence to support finding K.C.G. committed Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm.

         We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] In January 2019, sixteen-year-old K.C.G. was on probation after his earlier adjudication as a delinquent for acts that, if committed by an adult, would be Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana[2] and Class B misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident.[3] As a condition of his probation, K.C.G. was ordered to: (1) not associate with D.S., the other juvenile involved in the earlier delinquent acts; (2) participate in the Day Reporting program; and (3) "not possess or be around anyone in possession of a gun, rifle, shotgun, or other dangerous weapon, including ammunition or look-alike weapons." (State's Ex. 1.)

         [¶3] On January 24, 2019, the probation department received a report that K.C.G. had threatened to bring either a bomb or a gun to the Day Reporting Center. Based on that report, the probation department conducted a search of K.C.G.'s home. In K.C.G.'s bedroom, the probation officer and a police officer found a .30-30 Marlin rifle on the floor. The rifle was partially covered by a shirt. The stock of the rifle was missing, and no ammunition was present. K.C.G. told the officers that D.S. had left the rifle at K.C.G.'s house prior to K.C.G.'s placement on probation. K.C.G. and his mother told the officers that she and K.C.G. believed the rifle was a BB gun. K.C.G.'s mother told officers that she had taken the rifle from K.C.G. but that he had retrieved it and brought it back to his bedroom.

         [¶4] On January 25, 2019, the State filed a delinquency petition alleging K.C.G. committed Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm. On February 6, 2019, the State filed a petition for modification of K.C.G.'s probation based in part on the dangerous possession allegation. K.C.G. denied all allegations and, on February 25, 2019, the juvenile court held a fact-finding hearing on the matter. The juvenile court subsequently entered a true finding of delinquency for committing Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm, and it granted the State's request to modify K.C.G.'s probation. On April 1, 2019, the juvenile court placed K.C.G. on a suspended commitment to the Department of Correction.

         Discussion and Decision [4]

         1. Statutory Interpretation

         [¶5] Our standard of review for issues involving statutory ...


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