The Arkansas Supreme Court today reversed the juvenile court second-degree murder conviction of a Camden boy, then 12, in the 2006 death of his 11-year-old sister by smothering. The case received attention recently in a Democrat-Gazette article.
The court held that the boy had not “knowingly and intelligently” waived his Miranda rights to remain silent and have counsel before giving a statement criticial in his conviction. The court rejected arguments, however, on the sufficiency of evidence and on the state’s supposed failure to produce some potentially exculpatory evidence. In the latter case, however, the court said potential evidence from a friend of the child’s mother should be turned over to the defense for future proceedings if it exists.
The Supreme Court remanded the case to juvenile court for a new hearing. The boy has been in Youth Services custody since August 2008. The Supreme Court also said the circuit court had not erred in saying that the youth should be kept on probation until he was 18, which could be a factor in a new hearing.