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In re R.E.

Court of Appeals of Arizona, Second Division

January 6, 2017

In re R.E.

         Appeal from the Superior Court in Pinal County No. S1100JV201400051 The Honorable Daniel A. Washburn, Judge

         AFFIRMED IN PART; VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED

          William G. Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney By Karen Sciarrotta, Deputy County Attorney, Mesa Counsel for State

          Sabrina Ayers Fisher, Maricopa County Public Advocate By Colleen Engineer, Deputy Public Advocate, Phoenix Counsel for Minor

          Presiding Judge Vásquez authored the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Judge Eckerstrom and Judge Miller concurred.

          OPINION

          VÁSQUEZ, Presiding Judge:

         ¶1 R.E. appeals from juvenile court orders adjudicating him delinquent for criminal damage and placing him on juvenile intensive probation (JIPS). R.E. argues the evidence was insufficient to prove he acted with the mental state of recklessness required to find him culpable for criminal damage. For the following reasons, we affirm the court's delinquency adjudication, but we vacate the disposition and remand the case for a new disposition hearing.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         ¶2 In March 2015, the Maricopa County Attorney filed a delinquency petition alleging R.E., then eleven years old, had "recklessly defaced or damaged vehicles" belonging to others in September 2014, in violation of Arizona's criminal-damage statute. The instant case was assigned Maricopa County Cause No. JV598741, and, after an adjudication hearing held in February 2016, the juvenile court found R.E. delinquent as charged. On April 7, 2016, the court transferred the matter to Pinal County for disposition.

         ¶3 While this case was pending in Maricopa County, R.E. was the subject of additional delinquency petitions in Pinal County, assigned Pinal County Cause No. S1100JV201400051. In that case, on April 12, 2016, R.E. admitted allegations that he had committed burglary on November 12, 2015, and misdemeanor theft on June 28, 2015. At the admissions hearing, the Pinal County Juvenile Court advised R.E. that he had been classified as a first-time felony juvenile offender as a result of the instant case and would be classified as a repeat felony juvenile offender as a result of his admissions in the Pinal County matter.

         ¶4 In considering the two matters consolidated for disposition, the juvenile court placed R.E. on JIPS, stating that standard probation was "not an option." The court told R.E., who was thirteen at the time, that it had "no discretion in that regard, " because imposition of JIPS was "mandatory" when a juvenile had multiple felony adjudications.

         The Delinquency Adjudication

         ¶5 We view the evidence at the adjudication hearing in the light most favorable to sustaining the juvenile court's adjudication order. In re David H., 192 Ariz. 459, ¶ 3, 967 P.2d 134, 135 (App. 1998). So viewed, the record established that a group of children were walking to school through an alley when R.E. and two other boys began picking up "really big rocks" and throwing them over a wall into the parking lot of an apartment complex. A woman who lived nearby heard "crashing noises, " saw the rocks being thrown, and went outside, where she found rocks next to her neighbors' damaged vehicles.

         ¶6 When a Mesa police officer later asked R.E. what had happened, he said he and two other boys were throwing rocks and trying to hit two cars in the parking lot. R.E. told the officer that D., who was described as eight or nine years old at the time, was "actually aiming for the red car but missed the red car and was hitting the white car." R.E. did not think any of the rocks he had thrown had ...


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