People in Interest of E.V., 2022COA53 (juvenile adjudication as a delinquent and sentence)

E.V. appealed his adjudication as a delinquent and his sentence for possessing a handgun. Prior to the adjudication, E.V. had moved to suppress the discovery of the handgun, arguing that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to detain him, an argument the magistrate rejected. By the time of sentencing, E.V. had turned eighteen. The magistrate found that a mandatory sentencing provision in the Juvenile Justice Code required E.V. to serve at least five days of detention. E.V. petitioned the district court for review, arguing that the magistrate erred by: (1) failing to suppress the evidence of the handgun; and (2) imposing a five-day jail sentence. The district court disagreed with these arguments and affirmed the magistrate’s ruling and sentence.

The Court of Appeals upheld the magistrate’s ruling on E.V.’s suppression motion, finding that the officer had reasonable suspicion that E.V. was involved in an assault, which justified detention of E.V. for a brief, limited, and narrow investigation.

As for sentencing, the Court of Appeals determined that E.V. was a juvenile at the time of the crime and came within the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Code. However, the Court of Appeals ruled that E.V. could not be sentenced to “detention” as C.R.S. § 19-2-911(2) required, due to his age. Because E.V. was not under 18 at the time of sentencing and could not be sentenced to detention, the Court of Appeals determined that he was not subject to a mandatory minimum sentence and his five-day jail sentence was not authorized.

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