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Holmes v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

September 24, 2014

JARROD WILLIAM HOLMES, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE SALINE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CR-2011-535A-2. HONORABLE GARY ARNOLD, JUDGE.

Knutson Law Firm, by: Gregg A. Knutson, for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Kathryn Henry, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

GLADWIN, C.J., and BROWN, J., agree.

OPINION

RHONDA K. WOOD, Judge.

Jarrod Holmes pleaded guilty to three drug crimes. He tried to withdraw his plea after the court denied his motion to exclude evidence of the crime during jury sentencing. He now appeals the denial of his motion to withdraw and the denial of his motion to exclude the evidence. We affirm and hold that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion when it denied both motions.

Holmes pleaded guilty to trafficking methamphetamine, possessing drug paraphernalia with intent to manufacture, and maintaining a drug premise within 1000

Page 917

feet of a city park. At his sentencing hearing in front of a jury, his attorney filed a motion to exclude photographs of the crime scene, physical evidence, and his recorded interview with the police. The court denied the motion. At that point, Holmes himself interjected and asked to withdraw his guilty plea. He argued that the only reason he pleaded guilty was to avoid having the evidence admitted in front of a jury. And he claimed that he did so only because his attorney promised him that if he pleaded guilty, the State couldn't show the pictures and other evidence to the jury:

I took my attorney's advice and pleading [ sic ] guilty to these charges on the sole basis, sir, on the sole basis that I wasn't [ sic ] told we can try and keep this evidence from getting presented. I was told, this evidence doesn't get presented. This is the way it works. The jury doesn't have to see all this, Mr. Holmes. That's why I would do this.

His attorney replied that he had told Holmes the only way to exclude the evidence was to plead guilty and then make a motion to exclude the evidence during sentencing:

I had told him previously that the only possible way to keep it out was for us to plead and enter the motion. You know, I--I mean I think I'm entitled to my professional opinion, that's the only way to go about it, that's the best way to go about it, you know, and I see no basis for all of it but, you know, he was aware of that.

The court refused to allow Holmes to withdraw his plea. It explained:

See, the thing is, he entered his guilty plea, we seated a jury, we started the trial. Things, as they often times do, didn't go the way people thought they were going to go. Well, I'm not going to--you don't get to stop in the middle of the proceeding or after the proceeding has started and say, whoa, I ...

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