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Singleton-Harris v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

September 3, 2014

DIMITRIA SINGLETON-HARRIS, APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

Page 721

APPEAL FROM THE MILLER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CR-2012-361-2 HONORABLE BRENT HALTOM, JUDGE.

Cullen & Co., PLLC, bye: Tim J. Cullen, for appellant.

GLADWIN, C.J., and WHITEAKER, J., agree.

OPINION

Page 722

JOHN MAUZY PITTMAN, Judge.

This is an appeal from convictions of the crimes of rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, robbery, and aggravated residential burglary found to have been committed by appellant and her adult son, Demarcus Rayfield. Appellant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support her convictions of rape and kidnapping. We affirm.

In reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, i.e., considering only the evidence that supports the verdict, and we affirm a conviction if there is substantial evidence to support it. Rayfield v. State, 2014 Ark.App. 123. Substantial evidence, which may be direct or circumstantial, is evidence forceful enough to compel a conclusion one way or the other beyond suspicion or conjecture. Ellis v. State, 2012 Ark. 65, 386 S.W.3d 485.

Viewed in the light of our standard of review, the record shows that the victim was having a sexual relationship with appellant's husband. On May 27, 2012, after appellant's husband left the victim's apartment, the victim heard a knock on her door. When the victim opened the door, appellant and Demarcus Rayfield pushed their way into her home. Appellant confronted the victim about her relationship with appellant's husband and threatened her. Rayfield then raised up the victim's negligee, exposing her, and told appellant to " look between [her] legs because [she] might be wet." Appellant then locked the door and punched the victim while Rayfield held her down. Then Rayfield began hitting the victim, and continued beating her after appellant had stopped. Appellant told Rayfield to " get that bitch" and to " keep that bitch quiet." Rayfield then choked the victim from behind to the point that she could not breathe, forced her down the hallway into the bedroom, and raped her orally and vaginally. Appellant came back to the bedroom and saw the victim naked on the bed in front of Rayfield, with Rayfield's genitals near her face. Appellant admitted that she saw blood from the beating on the victim's door and in her bedroom. Appellant returned to the living room and waited for her husband to return while Rayfield raped the victim. When asked what led her son, Rayfield, to drag the victim back to the bedroom, appellant stated that " it was probably part me."

Appellant concedes that there is substantial evidence to prove that Rayfield raped the victim but contends that the evidence is insufficient to prove that she was an accomplice to the rape. We do not agree. The elements of accomplice liability are defined by Arkansas Code Annotated § 5-2-403 (Repl. 2013), which provides:

( a) A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of an offense if, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of an offense, the person:
(1) Solicits, advises, encourages, or coerces the other person to commit the offense;
(2) Aids, agrees to aid, or attempts to aid the other person in planning or committing the offense; or
(3) Having a legal duty to prevent the commission of the offense, fails to make a proper effort to prevent the ...

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