A 19-year-old who was 17 when he was charged with rape will be tried as an adult, the state Court of Appeals ordered Wednesday after reversing a judge's decision to transfer the case to juvenile court.
The appeals court said Circuit Judge Lance L. Hanshaw erred in his conclusion in Jonathan Graydon's alleged attack on a 14-year-old girl, that "while there was a lot of blood, there did not appear to be any evidence of severe violence or threats."
Hanshaw also said in his transfer order in Lonoke County that because of Graydon's age, there was still a chance of rehabilitation without facing 10 to 40 years or life in prison.
The state appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals, which Wednesday ruled that Hanshaw's handling of the case was clearly erroneous.
By definition, the court said, rape is a violent offense. The court noted the victim's testimony that her assailant pulled her to a porch and pushed her, causing her to hit her head, held her on the ground and caused vaginal injuries that required surgery and hospitalization.
The appeals court also noted the defendant had previously been adjudicated a juvenile offender for first-degree criminal mischief, which it said involves destruction or damage to property, and said a progression of alleged violence indicated a lack of rehabilitation.
Also Wednesday, the Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Marvin G. Jefferson, who was convicted in Monroe County of attempted second-degree murder and aggravated robbery charges.
Jefferson argued on appeal that using an accomplice's statement to implicate Jefferson in the robbery of a bank van in which shots were fired without having the witness testify at Jefferson's trial violated the Sixth Amendment guaranteeing the right of a criminal defendant to confront his accusers.
The appeals court ruled it could not conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the error did not contribute to the verdict.