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Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Contact: Bob Brammer, Iowa Attorney General’s Office, 515-281-6699

A.G. files “Application for Discretionary Review” of juvenile court decision

Statement:

The Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday asked the Iowa Supreme Court to review a Polk County Juvenile Court ruling declining to waive jurisdiction over now-18-year-old “E.L.C.” so the matter could be considered in Polk County District Court instead of juvenile court.

The teenager is alleged to have committed homicide by vehicle on August 6, 2008, by recklessly operating a motor vehicle resulting in the death of James Miller. She also is accused of two counts of leaving the scene of an accident. E.L.C. was 12 days shy of her 18th birthday on the day of the fatal collision. (Since the Juvenile Court retained jurisdiction, this statement uses only the teenager’s initials, as in Juvenile Court documents.)

In a ruling issued on September 3, 2008, the Juvenile Court rejected the State’s request made by the Polk County Attorney’s Office that the juvenile be waived to adult court to face criminal charges. In an Application for Discretionary Review filed with the Iowa Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s Office argues that the juvenile court gave too little weight in reaching its conclusion to the seriousness of the offenses and the limited options available for E.L.C. in the juvenile system, given that she already has reached the age of majority (age 18). [Go to Application for Discretionary Review.]

The Iowa Supreme Court may either grant the State’s application and move forward with briefing of the appeal or deny the application and leave the juvenile court’s decision in place.

The delinquency petition filed against the juvenile is merely an accusation and the juvenile is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

END of statement.