APPEAL FROM THE VAN BUREN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CR-12-116. HONORABLE CHARLES E. CLAWSON, JUDGE.
Hancock Law Firm, by: Charles D. Hancock, for appellant.
Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Lauren Elizabeth Heil, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
GRUBER and VAUGHT, JJ., agree.
PHILLIP T. WHITEAKER,
Appellant Dale Brown was charged with one count of manufacturing more than four ounces but less than twenty-five pounds of marijuana, a Class C felony. A Van Buren County jury convicted him of the offense and sentenced him to three years' suspended imposition of sentence.
On appeal, Brown raises two arguments. His first is a two-pronged challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, arguing that the State 1) failed to prove that marijuana is a Schedule VI controlled substance, and 2) failed to prove that he manufactured the weight of marijuana necessary for a Class C felony. In his second point, Brown asserts that the circuit court erred in allowing the State to introduce the crime laboratory analyst's report into evidence.
I. Sufficiency of the Evidence
Brown's first argument on appeal is that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict. A directed-verdict motion is a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. Populis v. State, 2011 Ark.App. 334; Draper v. State, 2010 Ark.App. 628, 378 S.W.3d 191. When reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, the appellate court will affirm the conviction if there is substantial evidence to support it, when viewed in the light most favorable to the State. Populis, supra. Substantial evidence is evidence that is of sufficient force and character that it will, with reasonable certainty, compel a conclusion one way or another without resort to speculation or conjecture. Id.
In the first point of his two-part challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, Brown argues that the circuit court erred in denying his motion for directed verdict. In making that motion at trial, Brown argued that there had been " no testimony that what [the crime-lab analyst] analyzed and determined was a Schedule VI controlled substance within the meaning of the Arkansas criminal statutes." The court overruled the motion, and the following colloquy then occurred:
Defense: Judge, does that specifically include the fact that one of the elements is that he manufactured a Schedule VI controlled substance? There's been no testimony with regard to this being a Schedule VI controlled substance.
State: As a matter of law, marijuana is a Schedule VI controlled substance. The court can make that finding as a matter of law. That's a legal ...