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State ex rel. D.H.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

April 22, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA IN THE INTEREST OF D.H

APPEAL FROM JUVENILE COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 2013-254-03-DQ-C, SECTION " C" . Honorable Candice Bates Anderson, Judge.

Katherine M. Franks, LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, Abita Springs, LA, FOR APPELLANT, D.H.

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, J. Bryant Clark, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, New Orleans, LA, FOR APPELLEE/STATE OF LOUISIANA.

Court composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Paul A. Bonin, Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu, Judge Joy C. Lobrano, Judge Rosemary Ledet. BONIN, J., DISSENTS WITH REASONS. LOBRANO, J., DISSENTS WITH REASONS.

OPINION

Madeleine M. Landrieu, J.

[2014-0626 La.App. 4 Cir 2] D.H., a juvenile, appeals the trial court's judgment adjudicating her delinquent of committing theft, a violation of La. R.S. 14:67.10. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW

D.H. is a thirteen-year- old straight-A, seventh-grade student and promising athlete. She was arrested, along with her mother,[1] at Rouses Supermarket in New Orleans East for theft of approximately $33.00 worth of meat. After the adjudication hearing, the trial court adjudicated D.H. as delinquent and gave her a public reprimand.

DISCUSSION

In her sole assignment of error, D.H. asserts that the evidence was insufficient to establish the elements of theft beyond a reasonable doubt. We agree.

Page 1067

Louisiana Children's Code article 833 states that " [i]n order for the court to adjudicate a child delinquent, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the child committed a delinquent act alleged in the petition." Louisiana [2014-0626 La.App. 4 Cir 3] Constitution Article V, § 10(B) mandates that an appellate court review both law and facts when reviewing juvenile adjudications. Therefore, as in the review of civil cases, a factual finding made by a trial court in a juvenile adjudication may not be disturbed by an appellate court unless the record evidence as a whole does not furnish a basis for it, or it is clearly wrong. State in the Interest of Batiste, 367 So.2d 784 (La.1979). Thus, we apply the " clearly wrong-manifest error" standard of review to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to satisfy the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. State in the Interest of J.J., 2013-0548, p.3 (La.App. 4 Cir. 9/25/13), 125 So.3d 1248, 1250.

Louisiana Revised Statute 14:67.10 defines theft of goods as " the misappropriation or taking of anything of value which is held for sale by a merchant, either without the consent of the merchant to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations." Theft is a crime which requires specific intent. State v. Mercadel, 12-0685, p. 10 (La.App. 4 Cir. 7/24/13), 120 So.3d 872, 879. Specific intent is " that state of mind which exists when the circumstances indicate that the ...


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