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In re J.C.M.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

March 18, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF J.C.M., A MINOR

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: PEARL MUNICIPAL YOUTH COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/07/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN SHIRLEY. TRIAL COURT ADJUDICATED CHILD DELINQUENT AND ORDERED CHILD TO SERVE NINETY DAYS IN THE RANKIN COUNTY JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER WITH SUPERVISED PROBATION THEREAFTER.

FOR APPELLANT: EARNESTINE ALEXANDER.

FOR APPELLEE: JAMES A. BOBO.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 211

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - JUVENILE JUSTICE

IRVING, P.J.

¶1. On October 30, 2012, the Pearl Municipal Youth Court adjudicated J.C.M.[1] a delinquent child and ordered that he serve ninety days in the Rankin County Juvenile Detention Center with supervised probation thereafter. Feeling aggrieved, J.C.M. appeals and argues that the youth court erred by not providing specific findings of fact pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 43-21-605(1)(k) (Supp. 2013) and by imposing an unreasonable and inappropriate disposition.

¶2. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

¶3. On August 20, 2012, twelve-year-old J.C.M. touched a female classmate's breast during a physical education (P.E.) class at Pearl Junior High School in Pearl, Mississippi. The female classmate, B.G., reported J.C.M. to school authorities. J.C.M. was immediately suspended, taken to and detained at the Rankin County Juvenile Detention Center, and charged with disorderly conduct. He was released to his parents and placed on house arrest on August 22, 2012.

¶4. On October 30, 2012, the youth court held an adjudicatory hearing. During the hearing, the victim, the victim's friend, and two of J.C.M.'s friends testified to their recollection of the events of August 20, 2012. B.G. testified that on August 20, 2012, she and her friend, B.S., were walking along the track in front of J.C.M. and his group of friends during P.E. class. B.G. stopped walking because her ankles started hurting, causing B.S., J.C.M., and his friends to walk ahead of her. According to B.G., J.C.M. approached her and introduced himself. While B.G. was talking to J.C.M., an unknown student brushed by B.G. Feeling that the student had gotten too close to her, B.G. commented that the student had gotten " too close to [her] breast[.]" When J.C.M. asked her what she said, she responded:

I was, like, nothing. He was, like, what did you say? Did you just say that you just got pushed in your breast, and I was, like, yeah. And then - - and I said I don't let anybody get close to me or nothing or let anybody touch me or look or anything, and he just started staring at me. . . . And then - - and then he said the " D" word and said those things are huge and then he grabbed me after he was staring at me.

B.G. stated that she did not think J.C.M. touched her by accident and that she was offended by J.C.M. touching her in that manner. After J.C.M. touched her breast, B.G. punched J.C.M. and later told her teacher about the incident.

¶5. B.S. testified that when B.G.'s ankle started hurting, she walked ahead of B.G. to talk with another group of friends. When she finished talking with her friends, she turned around and went back to walk with B.G. When she got back to where B.G. was on the track, B.G. was talking with J.C.M. B.G. " told [J.C.M.] that, you know, that he can't touch them, can't, you know, look, and then that's when it happened." She was sure that she saw J.C.M. grab B.G.'s breast, and she saw B.G. hit J.C.M. in response.

Page 212

¶6. J.G., a friend of J.C.M.'s, testified that he was on the track during the day of the incident. He stated that he saw J.C.M. " touch" B.G. on her breast, and that he did not think that it was an accident. J.G. stated that he did not hear any conversation between B.G. and J.C.M. before J.C.M. touched B.G.'s breast.

¶7. J.H., a friend of J.C.M.'s, also testified at the adjudicatory hearing. J.H. stated that J.C.M. " came over and talked about how he hit [B.G.] in the breast and she was mad." J.H. testified that J.C.M. was not the kind of person that would walk around hitting people. However, he did believe that J.C.M. hit B.G., just not on her breast.

¶8. J.C.M. testified that he did not touch B.G. on her breast. He stated that he was walking the track alone when B.G. approached him and asked him his name. According to J.C.M., B.G. hit him in the ...


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