APPEAL FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO.17CR-12-231. HONORABLE GARY COTTRELL, JUDGE.
Lisa-Marie Norris, for appellant.
Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Brad Newman, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge. WYNNE and GRUBER, JJ., agree.
WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge
On appeal, appellant argues that the circuit court erred by (1) allowing the State's expert witness to testify regarding whether a personality disorder is a mental disease or defect and beyond the scope of rebuttal testimony; (2) denying counsel the ability to inform the jurors of the consequences of a mental disease or defect defense; and (3) limiting appellant's expert witness's testimony to her first report. We affirm.
Appellant shot and killed Sharren Sue Richards at the Welcome Center rest area on Interstate 40 at Van Buren on the morning of May 1, 2012. Charles Scott, a truck driver who was at the rest area, saw Richards putting trash into the back of a city utility truck. Appellant's pickup truck was blocking a rest-area roadway. Scott saw Richards knock on the door of appellant's truck and then put her hands inside appellant's truck. At that point, Scott heard gunfire and saw Richards fall to the ground. He called 911.
At a November 25, 2013 pretrial hearing, appellant moved in limine to exclude Dr. Paul DeYoub's anticipated testimony that personality disorders were not mental diseases; the motion was denied. At the trial by jury on the matter, the shooting was not disputed. However, appellant asserted the affirmative defense of not guilty by mental disease or defect. Appellant moved for a directed verdict at the close of the State's case; it was denied. Appellant renewed her motion in limine; it was again denied. Appellant was convicted of second degree murder and was sentenced to thirty years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. This timely appeal followed.
I. Expert Witness Testimony
Pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-2-312, it is an affirmative defense to a prosecution that at the time the defendant engaged in the conduct charged she lacked capacity as a result of mental disease or defect to conform her conduct to the requirements of law or appreciate the criminality of her conduct. A defendant bears the burden of proving the affirmative defense of mental disease or defect by a preponderance of the evidence. The jury is the sole arbiter of whether or not a defendant has sustained her burden of proving the insanity (or mental disease or defect) defense by a preponderance of the evidence. This court's standard of review of a jury verdict rejecting the defense of mental disease or defect is whether there is any substantial evidence to support the verdict.
Appellant argues that the court erred in permitting Dr. Paul DeYoub to testify regarding whether a personality disorder is a mental disease or defect. Relatedly, appellant argues that the circuit court erred in allowing Dr. DeYoub to testify beyond the ...