APPEAL FROM THE POPE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CR-2012-368. HONORABLE BILL PEARSON, JUDGE.
James Dunham, for appellant.
Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., bye: Karen Virginia Wallace, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
DAVID M. GLOVER, Judge. HARRISON and WYNNE, JJ., agree.
DAVID M. GLOVER, Judge.
James Anthony Gould was charged by criminal information in the Pope County Circuit Court with first-degree murder and aggravated robbery. A jury acquitted Gould of the murder charge but convicted him of aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to forty years in prison, with an additional fifteen-year sentence for use of a firearm during the commission of the aggravated robbery. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively. Gould appeals, arguing (1) that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of aggravated robbery; (2) that the trial court erred in excluding Gould's expert witness; (3) that the trial court erred in refusing the proffered jury instruction regarding the crime
of possession of a controlled substance; and (4) that the trial court erred in refusing the proffered jury instruction regarding self-defense. We affirm.
On August 26, 2012, Gould and his nephew, Leondre Gould, went to drug dealer Randall Boykin's house to steal his marijuana. Gould sent his girlfriend, Ashley Ojeda, who had a baby with Boykin, to see if she could get some marijuana from Boykin; Gould thought that, with Ashley being there, Boykin would leave the door unlocked, would be unprotected, and that he and Leondre could just walk into the house and take the marijuana. Leondre had previously robbed Boykin twice and told Gould that it would be " easy" and that Boykin would not fight them.
Gould and Leondre drove to Boykin's house and placed red bandanas over their faces. Gould wore a fur-lined hat. As they walked up to Boykin's door and knocked, Gould was holding a .40-caliber pistol in his hand. Boykin looked out of the peephole, saw the two masked men, and warned them to get away from the door because he was " coming out shootin'." Leondre ran away; Gould and Boykin exchanged gun fire. Gould shot Boykin in the driveway of Boykin's home; when Gould went to see if Boykin was alive and take his gun, Gould's gun went off again. Boykin died from his injuries. Gould then went into Boykin's house and took 6.25 pounds of marijuana that testimony at trial established had a value of approximately $4,800.
I. Sufficiency of the Evidence
Gould first argues that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his aggravated-robbery conviction. A person commits aggravated robbery if he commits robbery as defined in § 5-12-102 and inflicts death upon another person. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-12-103(a)(3) (Repl. 2013). A person commits robbery if, with the purpose of committing a felony or misdemeanor theft, the person employs or threatens to immediately employ physical force upon another person. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-12-102(a) (Repl. 2013).
In reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, the appellate court determines whether the verdict is supported by substantial evidence; that is, whether the evidence is forceful enough to compel a conclusion one way or the other beyond suspicion or conjecture. Sweet v. State, 2011 Ark. 20, 370 S.W.3d 510. The evidence is viewed in the light most ...