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Gary Edward Knotts v. State of Arkansas

February 8, 2012

GARY EDWARD KNOTTS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE



APPEAL FROM THE SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FORT SMITH DISTRICT [NO. CR-05-1429] HONORABLE JAMES O. COX, JUDGE

The opinion of the court was delivered by: John B. Robbins, Judge

Cite as

AFFIRMED

Appellant Gary Edward Knotts pleaded guilty to second-offense domestic battery in the third degree on December 14, 2005, and was given a six-year suspended imposition of sentence. The conditions of Mr. Knotts's suspended imposition of sentence prohibited him from violating any state law. On September 22, 2010, the State filed a petition to revoke appellant's suspended sentence on the basis that he violated his conditions by committing residential burglary, battery in the third degree, and endangering the welfare of a minor in the second degree. After a revocation hearing, the trial court revoked Mr. Knotts's suspended imposition of sentence and sentenced him to six years in prison. Mr. Knotts now appeals, and his sole argument for reversal is that the State failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he violated the terms of his suspended sentence. We affirm.

A court may revoke a defendant's suspended sentence only if the State proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant failed to comply with the conditions. Jones v. State, 355 Ark. 630, 144 S.W.3d 254 (2004). On appellate review, the trial court's findings are upheld unless they are clearly against a preponderance of the evidence. Richardson v. State, 85 Ark. App. 347, 157 S.W.3d 536 (2004). Deference is given to the trial court's superior position to weigh the evidence and determine witness credibility. Stultz v. State, 92 Ark. App. 204, 212 S.W.3d 42 (2005). In order to revoke a suspended sentence, the State need only prove that the defendant violated one condition of his suspended sentence. Ramsey v. State, 60 Ark. App. 206, 959 S.W.2d 765 (1998). Evidence that is insufficient for a criminal conviction may be sufficient for the revocation of probation or suspended sentence. Lamb v. State, 74 Ark. App. 245, 45 S.W.3d 869 (2001).

The alleged battery victim, Victor McCarthy, testified for the State. Mr. McCarthy stated that in September 2010 he lived in an apartment with his girlfriend, Amanda Workman, along with their infant son. At that time, appellant Gary Knotts was living in an adjacent apartment with his then girlfriend, Juanita Collins.

The events occurred on the evening of September 11, 2010. Mr. McCarthy testified that, on that night, Mr. Knotts was visiting him and his girlfriend at their apartment and that they were all drinking. According to Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Knotts was making sexually explicit comments toward Ms. Workman and as a result Mr. McCarthy asked Mr. Knotts to leave. Mr. Knotts left the apartment, and the situation resulted in an argument between Mr. McCarthy and Ms. Workman.

Mr. McCarthy testified that he and his girlfriend went to bed a few hours after Mr. Knotts left their apartment. About an hour later, Mr. McCarthy heard 'a sound like the police were beating on the door.' Mr. McCarthy answered the door and it was Mr. Knotts. Mr. McCarthy further testified:

Gary Knotts pushed his way into the apartment and all heck broke loose. He pushed his way past Amanda and pulled a knife on me. He stuck it to my throat. I grabbed it and pulled it away. I told him 'You better kill me if you are going to pull a knife on me.' When I grabbed the blade to pull it away, he hit me in the mouth. He hit me with his fist. I got punched several times. I do not know how many times he hit me after the third or fourth time. I was injured. I had a gash through my bottom lip. My nose was swollen and bloody. This took place in our apartment in the area between the dining room and living room. My son and Amanda were in the living room when this happened. I never went to the floor. I was right next to my child. After the first punch I lost my balance and fell on to the baby's playpen. It was bent. My son was asleep in the playpen at the time. He punched me in the face repeatedly with his fists. I was standing in the kitchen trying to get ...


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