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IN THE INTEREST OF K. A. R.

NOVEMBER 02, 1983

IN THE INTEREST OF K. A. R., A MINOR




BEFORE BROOM, DAN LEE AND PRATHER

PRATHER, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

K. A. R., a married minor, was arrested at her home in Raymond, Second Judicial District, Hinds County, Mississippi and charged with possession of marijuana and hashish. A youth court hearing was held in the First Judicial District of Hinds County at which time K. A. R. was determined to be a delinquent under the Youth Court Act, section 43-21-101 et seq., of the Mississippi Code Annotated (1972), and committed in the custody of the Department of Youth Services for placement at Columbia Training School. She takes this appeal and assigns as error that:

(1) The youth court had no jurisdiction over a married minor under the age of eighteen years;

 (2) The youth court sitting in the First Judicial District of Hinds County had improper venue since the alleged offense occurred in and the minor resided in the Second Judicial District of Hinds County; and

 (3) The finding that K. A. R. was delinquent was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.

 We agree that the finding of delinquency was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence; therefore, we reverse the finding and discharge the minor. We do, however, feel the need to address the other two assignments of error as well.

 I.

 K. A. R. is a sixteen year old female married to D. R., both of whom at the time of this incident, lived in a trailer at Raymond, Mississippi. A third person by the name of Oddie Hughes also resided at the trailer.

 On March 14, 1982, police officers entered the trailer with a search warrant. At the time of the search K. A. R., D. R., Oddie Hughes, D. R.'s two sisters and his brother-in-law were present. The brother-in-law and two sisters arrived at the trailer about an hour before the police arrived. Oddie Hughes had been there for about five minutes.

 The hashish was found in a P.C.V. pipe located under the trailer. The marijuana was found on the floor in the living room area of the trailer. There was no testimony at the hearing that K. A. R. was in actual possession of either substance. K. A. R. claimed that the marijuana belonged to Oddie Hughes and that he had brought it to the trailer moments before the police arrived. She knew nothing about the hashish. K. A. R. stated that Hughes often brought marijuana to the trailer and that her husband sometimes kept marijuana around the trailer. She stated that when the police arrived at the trailer, Hughes knocked the marijuana off of a table and on to the floor.

 II.

 The first question for this Court to decide is whether the youth court has jurisdiction over married minors under the age of eighteen years. We hold that it does.

 A "child" under Mississippi's Youth Court Act is defined as "a person who has not reached his eighteenth birthday." Further, it says that, "a child who has not reached his eighteenth birthday and is on active duty for a branch of the armed services is not considered a `child' or `youth' for the purposes of this chapter." Mississippi Code Annotated 43-21-105 (d) (1972).

 The youth court jurisdictional statute is section 43-21-151 of the Mississippi Code. The applicable parts ...


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