In the Interest of Kevin R.

The State charged appellant "Kevin R." with possessing a weapon on school grounds. Prior to his adjudicatory hearing before a family court judge, Appellant moved for a jury trial on the grounds the federal and state Constitutions guaranteed him the right to a jury trial. The judge denied the motion and proceeded to hear Appellant's case in a bench trial. Ultimately, the judge adjudicated Appellant delinquent and deferred sentencing until an evaluation of Appellant was completed. The sentencing hearing was conducted before a second family court judge, who sentenced Appellant to an indeterminate period of time not to exceed his twenty- first birthday. The judge then suspended the sentence and placed Appellant on probation until his eighteenth birthday. On appeal, Appellant contended the family court judge erred in denying his motion for a jury trial. Recently, the South Carolina Supreme Court held a juvenile did not have a constitutional right to a jury trial in adjudication proceedings. However, the Court's decision in that case was not dispositive as it was presented with additional arguments raised by Appellant and the Amici Curiae. After consideration of these issues, the Court adhered to its decision in the earlier case, and affirmed the family court. View "In the Interest of Kevin R." on Justia Law