MELTON, CHIEF JUSTICE
February 17, 2016, Vas Coleman was arrested at his home in
Huntsville, Alabama on charges related to the 2015 death of
Jose Greer in Fulton County, Georgia. Although Coleman was
sixteen years old at the time of his arrest, the Fulton
County Superior Court had exclusive jurisdiction over his
case pursuant to OCGA § 15-11-560 (b) (1) as he was
accused of murder. After his arrest, Coleman was held at the
Fulton County Youth Detention Center until he was granted a
bond on March 24, 2016, and subsequently released.
April 8, 2016, Coleman was indicted by a Fulton County grand
jury, along with his four co-defendants, for felony murder
and burglary in relation to Greer's death. Almost two
years later, on March 20, 2018, Coleman and his co-defendants
were re-indicted on the same charges. After the State nolle
prossed the April 2016 indictment, Coleman filed a motion to
transfer his case to juvenile court, arguing that, because
the March 2018 indictment was returned outside the 180-day
time limit set by OCGA § 17-7-50.1, the Superior Court
no longer had jurisdiction.
on the Court of Appeals' decisions in Edwards v.
State, 323 Ga.App. 864 (748 S.E.2d 501) (2013) and
State v. Armendariz, 316 Ga.App. 394 (729 S.E.2d
538) (2012), the trial court granted Coleman's motion to
transfer. The State appeals, arguing that the trial court
granted the motion in error. For the reasons discussed below,
we agree and reverse the trial court's transfer order.
statutory interpretation cases such as this, it is well
settled that "[a] statute draws its meaning . . . from
its text." (Citation omitted.) Chan v. Ellis,
296 Ga. 838, 839 (1) (770 S.E.2d 851) (2015). When
interpreting a statute, we must give the text its plain and
ordinary meaning, view it in the context in which it appears,
and read it in its most natural and reasonable way. See
Deal v. Coleman, 294 Ga. 170, 172-173 (1) (751
S.E.2d 337) (2013). "For context, we may look to other
provisions of the same statute, the structure and history of
the whole statute, and the other law - constitutional,
statutory, and common law alike - that forms the legal
background of the statutory provision in question."
(Citation omitted). Zaldivar v. Prickett, 297 Ga.
589, 591 (1) (774 S.E.2d 688) (2015). When we construe such
statutory authority on appeal, our review is de novo.
Hankla v. Postell, 293 Ga. 692, 693 (749 S.E.2d 726)
(2013). With these principles in mind, we turn to the
statutory text in question.
§ 17-7-50.1 provides:
(a) Any child who is charged with a crime that is within the
jurisdiction of the superior court, as provided in Code
Section 15-11-560 or 15-11-561, who is detained shall within
180 days of the date of detention be entitled to have the
charge against him or her presented to the grand jury. The
superior court shall, upon motion for an extension of time
and after a hearing and good cause shown, grant one extension
to the original 180 day period, not to exceed 90 additional
(b) If the grand jury does not return a true bill against the
detained child within the time limitations set forth in
subsection (a) of this Code section, the detained child's
case shall be transferred to the juvenile court and shall
proceed thereafter as provided in Chapter 11 of Title 15.
granting Coleman's motion to transfer, the trial court
noted that the phrase "who is detained" within OCGA
§ 17-7-50.1 (a) has been interpreted by the Court of
Appeals to mean that "the date of detention is a
specific point in time, rather than an ongoing condition
necessary for the running of the 180-day time
limitation." Edwards, 323 Ga.App. at 866.
Indeed, in Edwards, the Court of Appeals determined
that "nothing in the statute mandates that the defendant
continue to be detained for the entire 180-day period."
Id. We respectfully disagree.
to the language of OCGA § 17-7-50.1, the statute
entitles a child "who is detained" on criminal
charges within the jurisdiction of the superior court to have
those criminal charges presented to a grand jury within 180
days "of the date of detention." Id. at
(a). If the grand jury does not return a true bill
"against the detained child" within 180 days, then
the superior court must transfer "the detained
child's case" to juvenile court. While the statute
does not define the word "detained," Webster's
New World College Dictionary defines "detain" as
"to keep in custody; confine." Webster's New
World College Dictionary 392 (4th ed. 2007). See also
Black's Law Dictionary 459 (7th ed. 1999) (defining
"detain" and "detention" as "[t]he
act or fact of holding a person in custody; confinement or
compulsory delay."). It logically follows that, if a
child is released on bond or otherwise, they are no longer
"detained" within the meaning of the statute.
General Assembly enacted the relevant phrase "who is
detained" in the present tense. And while the "date
of detention" refers to one specific point in time, the
phrases "detained child" and "who is
detained" describe a required condition or state of
confinement the child must be in for the 180-day time
limitation to apply. Accordingly, pursuant to the plain
language of the statute, and contrary to the Court of
Appeals' decision in Edwards, a child must be
detained in order for the 180-day time limitation to run.
supporting this conclusion is our prior interpretation of
OCGA § 17-7-50.1's companion statute, OCGA §
17-7-50,  which addresses the same issue of ensuring
timely indictment of confined adults. Indeed, we have said
that OCGA § 17-7-50 applies only to unindicted,
pre-trial adult detainees who are held in custody for 90
days. See Tatis v. State, 289 Ga. 811 (716 S.E.2d
203) (2011) ("OCGA § 17-7-50 ensures that a person
. . . who has been confined since his arrest has his case
presented to the grand jury within 90 days of arrest or has
bail set by the trial court upon the arrestee's motion
after the expiration of the 90-day period"); State
v. English, 276 Ga. 343 (3) (578 S.E.2d 413) (2003);
Rawls v. Hunter, 267 Ga. 109 (1) (475 S.E.2d 609)
(1996); Burke v. State, 234 Ga. 512 (5) (216 S.E.2d
812) (1975), overruled on other grounds by Hutchins v.
State, 284 Ga. 395 (667 S.E.2d 589) (2008).
the statute in its most natural and reasonable way, we
conclude that the 180-day time limitation in OCGA §
17-7-50.1 does not apply to a juvenile who is released and
remains on bond prior to the running of 180 days. Based on
the foregoing, we overrule Edwards, and further