This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998)






State of Minnesota,





Wakinyan Wakan McArthur,



Filed September 19, 2000


Shumaker, Judge


Hennepin County District Court

File No.  95035646



Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and


Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Donna J. Wolfson, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)


Bradford Colbert, Assistant State Public Defender, 875 Summit Avenue, Room 254, St. Paul, MN 55105 (for appellant)



            Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Shumaker, Judge and Anderson, Judge.




U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N



Wakinyan Wakan McArthur appeals from the district court’s denial of his petition for postconviction relief.  He alleges that the juvenile court did not properly waive juvenile jurisdiction before imposing an adult sentence for murder and, therefore, his conviction must be vacated and his sentence set aside.  We affirm.


Appellant Wakinyan Wakan McArthur was eleven years old in 1988 when he had his first contact with the juvenile court through a curfew violation charge.  From that time through 1994, McArthur was the subject of ten delinquency petitions charging him with various offenses, including truancy, theft, burglary, false information to police, tampering with a motor vehicle, assault, escape from custody, and illegal possession of a handgun.

            In June, 1994, the juvenile court committed McArthur to the custody of the Juvenile Male Offenders Program for 14 months.  He absconded from that program, and, on December 20, 1994, the state filed a delinquency petition charging McArthur with the offense of escape from a correctional facility.  He was 16 years old at the time.

            On December 30, 1994, McArthur shot Stacy Rivers.  Stacy Rivers died on December 31, 1994.  The state filed a delinquency petition on February 2, 1995, charging McArthur with two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter.  The state also sought to have McArthur certified to be tried as an adult on the murder charges.  The delinquency petition for escape was still pending as well.

            On April 26, 1995, McArthur appeared with his attorney in juvenile court for a hearing on the state’s petition to certify him to be tried as an adult.  The prosecutor told the judge that the state and McArthur had agreed to resolve all pending matters.  They had agreed to a procedure that called upon the court to exercise “dual jurisdiction.”  Under that procedure, McArthur would admit to the escape charge and the judge would impose a juvenile disposition.  McArthur would waive his right to contest certification and would admit to one count of murder.  The state would dismiss the remaining homicide counts.  The parties also agreed to the sentence to be imposed.

            The court then found probable cause on the escape charge.  After defense counsel reviewed McArthur’s legal rights with him, McArthur admitted the escape charge.  He then waived his right to challenge the state’s petition for certification.  The prosecutor asked the court to adjudicate McArthur delinquent, to commit him to the Operation Rebound program, and to place him on probation, as the parties had agreed.  The judge replied that she “would like to combine the disposition of the adult and juvenile together * * * .”  The judge did, however, “make a determination based on the record and the admission an adjudication of delinquency based on this offense admitting to the escape petition.”

            Later that day, the parties again appeared before the same judge.  McArthur pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree as charged in the adult complaint.  After defense counsel reviewed McArthur’s plea petition with him, the judge asked McArthur:

Do you have any questions of the court before having received your Petition to Enter a Plea of Guilty as an adult to this offense under the dual jurisdiction?


McArthur indicated that he had no questions, and the judge received the petition.

            After hearing statements from various persons, the judge stated:

It is considered ordered and adjudged, that you Wakan McArthur, by your plea of guilty to the charge of Murder in the Second Degree * * * are hereby committed to the Commissioner of Corrections for a period of 150 months.  * * *  The execution of this sentence is hereby stayed for a period of 15 years, and you’ll be placed on active probation for a 15-year period.  * * *  The court will also order that the sentence on your adult case be served concurrent with your juvenile disposition.


As part of McArthur’s conditions of probation on the sentence for murder, the court ordered him to “complete the residential program known as Operation Rebound” and to “obey all state, federal and local laws * * * .”

            The court then stated:

The Court will, based on your earlier admission to an act of delinquency require that you enter and complete the Rebound Program.  That Rebound participation, as the Court has stated, will be concurrent with your adult probationary sentence.


            The judge issued a written order following the hearing.  It was captioned “Fourth Judicial District Court - Juvenile Division.”  It erroneously stated that McArthur had admitted to murder in the first degree, but accurately stated that his plea was “as an adult.”  The order indicated that “The child is adjudicated delinquent,” and it recited the sentence the judge had imposed in court on the murder charge.

            On November 20, 1998, after an evidentiary hearing, the court found that McArthur had violated his probation by illegally possessing a firearm, revoked his probation, and executed his 150-month sentence.

            McArthur filed a petition for postconviction relief on October 14, 1999, alleging that the sentencing court “did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the murder because the juvenile court did not waive jurisdiction * * * .”  The postconviction court denied the petition, and McArthur appealed.


            A “postconviction proceeding is a collateral attack on a judgment which carries a presumption of regularity and which, therefore, cannot be lightly set aside.”  State ex rel. Gray v. Tahash, 279 Minn. 248, 250, 156 N.W.2d 228, 229 (1968).

This court reviews a postconviction proceeding only to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain the postconviction court’s findings, and a postconviction court’s decision will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion.


Scruggs v. State, 484 N.W.2d 21, 25 (Minn. 1992).

            Jurisdictional questions are questions of law that we review de novo.  TRWL Fin. Establishment v. Select Int’l, Inc., 527 N.W.2d 573, 575 (Minn. App. 1995) (personal jurisdiction); Neighborhood Sch. Coalition v. Independent Sch. Dist. No. 279, 484 N.W.2d 440, 441 (Minn. App. 1992) (subject matter jurisdiction), review denied (Minn. June 30, 1992).

            In his petition for postconviction relief, McArthur contended that the sentencing court “did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the murder because the juvenile court did not waive jurisdiction over the murder charge * * * .”  McArthur also argued that the sentencing court violated the juvenile court act by failing to make findings regarding certification.

            The postconviction court denied the petition, ruling that the sentencing court had subject matter jurisdiction over the murder and that written findings for the certification were unnecessary.

            The state argues that the sentencing court had subject matter jurisdiction and, in any event, McArthur’s jurisdictional challenge is untimely.

            The juvenile court has “original and exclusive jurisdiction” over proceedings against children under the age of 18 who are alleged to be delinquent.  Minn. Stat. § 260.111, subd. 1 (1994).  After reaching age 14, if the child allegedly has committed a crime that would be a felony if the child were an adult, the juvenile court may transfer jurisdiction to the district court for adult prosecution through a certification order.  Minn. Stat. § 260.125, subd. 1 (1994).  Certification is presumed if the child is at least 16 years old at the time of the crime and allegedly has committed a crime that would result in a presumptive commitment to prison under the sentencing guidelines and statutes.  Minn. Stat. § 260.125, subd. 2a (1994).

When the juvenile court enters an order certifying an alleged violation to district court, the prosecuting authority shall proceed with the case as if the jurisdiction of the juvenile court had never attached.


Minn. Stat. § 260.125, subd. 4 (1994).  A juvenile may waive his right to challenge a certification.  State v. Houff, 309 Minn. 1, 4, 243 N.W.2d 129, 132 (1976).  In some instances, the court’s order either for or against certification must contain prescribed factual findings.  Minn. Stat. § 260.125, subd. 5 (1994).  The statute does not list as a circumstance requiring factual findings a juvenile’s waiver of his right to challenge an effort to certify him for adult prosecution.  Id.

            McArthur claims that the sentencing court adjudged him delinquent on the murder charge and not on the escape charge.  In support of his claim he points to the court’s written order as “more conclusive evidence of the court's intent” than the record of the hearing.  From the written order, he concludes that the sentencing court did not properly “waive” juvenile court jurisdiction over the murder charge.

            We hold that a fair and proper reading of the sentencing court record shows that McArthur intended to admit the escape as a juvenile offense and to accept a juvenile court disposition for that offense; and that he intended to waive his right to challenge certification and to plead guilty in district court to murder as an adult crime.  A fair and proper reading of the record shows that the sentencing court intended to adjudge McArthur delinquent on the escape charge, accept his waiver of certification, adjudge him guilty in district court of murder, and have the juvenile disposition and the criminal sentence run concurrently with each other.

            When the court session resumed in the afternoon of April 26, 1995, it began with the prosecutor’s announcement that the state had filed an adult complaint against McArthur, and the prosecutor’s statement that McArthur intended to plead guilty to a murder count in the adult complaint.  The court asked defense counsel whether McArthur was ready to be arraigned, and counsel said that he was.  The clerk administered an oath to McArthur.  The court then asked McArthur whether he would plead guilty or not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder.  He replied, “Guilty.”  That plea resulted in McArthur’s conviction in district court as an adult of the crime of murder.  See Minn. Stat. § 609.02, subd. 5 (1994) (“‘conviction’ means any of the following accepted and recorded by the court: (1) A plea of guilty * * * .”).

            The written order that followed contradicted the recorded intent of the parties and the court in certain respects.  It failed to mention the escape offense and it erroneously indicated that McArthur had admitted first-degree murder.  The order did not accurately reflect the proceedings.  Furthermore, the written order could not properly change the conviction that had already been recorded.

            We need not address at length McArthur’s contention that the “dual jurisdiction” procedure was an impermissibly premature attempt to designate McArthur an extended jurisdiction juvenile, since this had not yet become a statutory option.[1]  There was no extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution here.  The sentencing court handled one offense entirely as a juvenile matter and the other entirely as an adult matter after McArthur had waived his right to challenge certification.  McArthur has cited no authority that the sentencing court’s approach to these two offenses was improper.  Ganguli v. University of Minnesota, 512 N.W.2d 918, 919 n.1 (Minn. App. 1994) (holding this court will not address allegations unsupported by legal analysis or citation).

            McArthur also argues that the sentencing court erred by failing to make findings supporting the certification, citing In re Welfare of I.Q.S., 309 Minn. 78, 82, 244 N.W.2d 30, 36 (Minn. 1976).  That case does not hold, as McArthur contends, that the court must make findings when the juvenile waives a hearing and other rights to challenge efforts to certify him to be tried as an adult.  Rather, the court in I.Q.S., which dealt with the adequacy of findings after certification hearings, held that the juvenile is entitled to reasons for the court’s decision to waive juvenile jurisdiction and certify the juvenile to be tried as an adult.  Id.  I.Q.S. does not require findings when the juvenile waives his right to challenge certification.  And the applicable statute at the time of McArthur’s certification did not require findings to support his waiver.  Minn. Stat. § 260.125, subd. 5.

Because we hold that the sentencing court properly waived its juvenile jurisdiction and that the postconviction court committed no error in finding that the sentencing court had jurisdiction to sentence McArthur as an adult on the murder charge, we need not address the state’s argument that McArthur’s challenge to subject matter jurisdiction is untimely.


[1] The extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecutions statute took effect on Jan. 1, 1995, after the murder to which McArthur pleaded guilty.  Minn. Stat. § 260.126 (1994).