final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Taylor County. William W.
Thomas, Public Defender, and Archie F. Gardner, Jr.,
Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Holly N. Simcox, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
appeals an adjudication of delinquency for battery on a
school employee. The charge stemmed from a schoolyard
altercation between T.K. and another student in which a
teacher was struck while attempting to break up the fight.
T.K. contends the trial court erred in denying her motion for
judgment of dismissal[*] because the facts presented by the
State showed only that she intended to hit the student-not
the teacher-and the State could not rely on the doctrine of
transferred intent to enhance the offense from simple
misdemeanor battery to battery on a school employee, a
felony. We conclude sufficient evidence exists for the trier
of fact to find that T.K. had the specific intent to commit
battery on the teacher and affirm.
review the denial of a motion for judgment of dismissal de
novo, viewing the evidence and all reasonable inferences in
the light most favorable to the State. J.W.J. v.
State, 994 So.2d 1223, 1224 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008). If a
rational fact-finder could find the elements of the offense
proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the evidence is sufficient
to sustain the adjudication of delinquency. C.B.B. v.
State, 135 So.3d 1139, 1142 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014). Stated
another way, the denial of a motion for judgment of dismissal
will not be reversed on appeal if competent, substantial
evidence supports the adjudication. J.W.J., 994
So.2d at 1225.
prove the charge in this case, the State had to present
sufficient evidence that (1) T.K. intentionally touched or
struck the teacher against the teacher's will; (2) the
teacher was a school district employee; and (3) T.K. had
reason to know the teacher was a school district employee.
See §§ 784.03(1)(a)(1), 784.081(2)(c),
Fla. Stat. (2016). With regard to the intent element,
"[i]ntent, a state of mind, is rarely susceptible of
direct proof. It is almost always shown
solely by circumstantial evidence." State
v. Sims, 110 So.3d 113, 122 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013) (quoting
Green v. State, 90 So.3d 835, 837 (Fla. 2d DCA
2012)) (emphasis added by Sims).
the only element in dispute is whether T.K. intentionally
touched or struck the teacher. T.K. argues that she
inadvertently hit the teacher when he stepped into the fray
to stop the fight, and that her intent to hit the student
cannot be transferred to the teacher to enhance the severity
of the battery. We agree with T.K. on the latter point. As we
have previously explained,
The doctrine of transferred intent as adopted by the supreme
court of this state is governed and limited by the intent
operative as to the intended victim, not the unintended
victim, and the severity of the offense predicated on the
doctrine of transferred intent is that applicable had the
intended victim been the one injured.
Mordica v. State, 618 So.2d 301, 302-04 (Fla. 1st
DCA 1993); see also S.G. v. State, 29 So.3d 383
(Fla. 5th DCA 2010) (doctrine of transferred intent could not
apply to enhance severity of battery to battery on school
employee where the appellant threw a stapler at another
student but the stapler hit a school employee).
this case, the State did not rely on the doctrine of
transferred intent to establish the disputed element of
intent, nor did it need to do so given the record evidence
and the reasonable inferences from the evidence. The teacher
who broke up the fight testified that when he separated the
two students, "[T.K. was] trying to get to [the
student], coming over top of me, around me, through me, [by]
whatever, I think, means necessary." He added that T.K.
hit him in the head, the back, and the shoulder. The trial
court viewed the video and determined that it showed T.K.
intentionally jumping on the teacher's back: "What I
could see is that she jumped on the back of [the teacher].
That alone is battery. . . [S]he wasn't trying to jump on
the victim's back and she landed on [the teacher]. She
jumped on [the teacher's] back and that standing alone is
trial court correctly found that the transferred intent
doctrine did not apply in these circumstances because
competent, substantial evidence shows that T.K. intended to
touch or strike the teacher against his ...