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State v. Lecompte

Superior Court of Delaware

October 18, 2017

State of Delaware
v.
Isaiah Lecompte

          Eugene J. Maurer, Jr., Esq. Eugene J. Maurer, Jr., P.A.

          Phillip M. Casale, Esq. Department of Justice Carvel State Building.

          VIVIAN L. MEDINILLA JUDGE.

         Dear Counsel:

         This is the Court's decision on Isaiah Lecompte ("Defendant")'s Motion to Transfer the Case to Family Court ("Motion"), filed on May 24, 2017.[1] For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED.

         On January 21, 2017, Defendant was fifteen years and two months old[2] when he allegedly committed the crimes of Robbery First Degree and Conspiracy Second Degree for which he is charged in this Court.[3] Neither charge falls within this Court's exclusive jurisdiction and both can be considered for transfer to Family Court under 10 Del. C. § 1011. Defendant has been detained since his arrest on January 21, 2017 at the New Castle County Detention Center with the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services ("YRS") for the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families ("DSCYF").

         Factual and Procedural Background

         At the reverse amenability hearing on October 9, 2017, the Court considered the following evidence: a jointly submitted Stipulation regarding Defendant's alleged conduct that gave rise to the charges, and the report and testimony of the only witness, Jennifer Skinner, Master Family Service Specialist on behalf of YRS. The State called no witnesses.

         Standard of Review

         The reverse amenability process is meant to identify those juveniles charged as adults who are amenable to the rehabilitative processes of the Family Court.[4] If the juvenile files a motion to transfer the adult charges, this Court must hold a reverse amenability hearing and weigh the four factors set forth in 10 Del. C. § 1011(b).[5]

         Under § 1011(b), the Court may consider evidence of: (1) "[t]he nature of the present offense and the extent and nature of the defendant's prior record, if any;" (2) "[t]he nature of past treatment and rehabilitative efforts and the nature of the defendant's response thereto, if any;" (3) "[w]hether the interests of society and the defendant would be best served by trial in the Family Court or in the Superior Court;" and (4) any "other factors which, in the judgment of the Court are deemed relevant."[6]

         The Court need not make a preliminary determination of whether the State has made out & prima facie case against the Defendant because the defense conceded, for these purposes, that there is a fair likelihood of Defendant's conviction if he proceeded to trial. The Court turns to an analysis of the four statutory factors outlined in § 1011(b).

         Discussion

         I. Nature of Present Offense and the Extent and Nature of ...


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