OPINION ISSUED AUGUST 2, 1990
ROBERT DALE SHEPARD
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
Claimant appeared in person.
Lowell D. Greenwood, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
Claimant brought this action pursuant to the provisions of West Virginia Code .14-12-13a for
compensation relating to an unjust conviction. Claimant was sixteen years of age when he was
indicated on April 2, 1977, on a felony charge of aiding and abetting another person in the
commission of the felony of breaking and entering. Claimant was thereafter transferred from the
Juvenile Division to the Adult Division by a Transfer Order dated May 3, 1977. Claimant pleaded
not guilty and was then tried and convicted of the felony of aiding and abetting whereupon he was
sentenced on July 6, 1979, to confinement in the State Penitentiary for one to ten years. After serving
approximately three and one-half years of this sentence, claimant was released. Claimant alleges that
he should be compensated for the time served on this conviction as it was voided at a later date by
an Order of the Wood County Circuit Court.
The evidence submitted by the parties revealed that in 1983 claimant was charged and convicted of
the felony of armed robbery and the felony of voluntary manslaughter. The prosecutor sought to
enhance the sentence for voluntary manslaughter based upon the previous conviction of aiding and
abetting for which claimant had served time in the penitentiary. Claimant then challenged the transfer
from juvenile to adult status which had occurred in 1977. By Order dated August 31, 1983, the Wood
County Circuit Court dismissed the information which sought enhancement of the voluntary
manslaughter conviction based upon the prior conviction in 1977. The Court ruled that the 1977
Transfer Order contained no findings of fact, did not set forth any information or reason for the
transfer from juvenile to adult jurisdiction, and did not contain any statement of the reason or reasons
why juvenile jurisdiction was relinquished.
At the time of the claimant's 1977 transfer from juvenile to adult jurisdiction these requirements
were not statutorily mandated. The amendment to West Virginia Code Chapter 49, Article 5, Section
10 requiring finding of fact and conclusions of law became effective July 5, 1977, subsequent to the
Transfer Order in question.
Whatever the basis of the 1983 Wood County Circuit Court decision that the 1977 conviction could
not be used for enhancement purposes, it is clear that the guilt or innocence of the claimant for the
1977 charges was not addressed.
The Court herein is of the opinion that claimant has failed to bring this claim within the intended provisions of West Virginia Code Chapter 14, Article 2, Section 13a which was passed by the
Legislature to compensate individuals unjustly arrested or convicted and thereafter determined to be
innocent of any wrongdoing. The Court Order relied upon by claimant to establish this claim fails
to establish a wrongful conviction as contemplated by the statute. Therefore, the Court is of the
opinion to and does deny this claim.
Claim is disallowed.