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McCray v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

February 4, 2015

LAWRENCE McCRAY APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTH DIVISION [NO. CR-2013-2668] HONORABLE HERBERT WRIGHT, JUDGE

Lott Rolfe, IV, for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Jake H. Jones, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge

Lawrence McCray was convicted of aggravated robbery, attempted rape, and theft of property in the Pulaski County Circuit Court on April 9, 2014. On appeal, he argues that there was insufficient evidence to convict on each count.[1] We affirm because the issues were not preserved for appellate review.

Appellant was charged on August 21, 2013, by felony information alleging that he had committed aggravated robbery, attempted rape, and theft of property on June 26, 2013, by using a firearm while robbing an Exxon store in Little Rock, Arkansas. Appellant waived his right to a trial by jury, and a bench trial was held on March 20, 2014.

At trial, D.A. testified that she was working as a clerk at Exxon on June 26, 2013, on the 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. shift. There was no security guard at the store, but there were security cameras. Her work space behind the register was separated by plexiglass from the lobby area designated for customers. Money was passed through a slot in the plexiglass to the clerk. D.A. said that she had to enter the lobby area from the outside, as the register area was accessed through a side door.

D.A. explained that she went into the lobby around 3:00 a.m. in order to clean it. She said that a customer came in, and she went back behind the register. When the customer left, she went back out to the lobby because she had left her cleaning supplies there. Another customer, whom she identified as appellant, came in and asked if the store carried a certain type of cigarillo. She told him that they did not and that he should have known that because he "came in all the time."

She said that she waited for the lot to clear and stepped in to grab her glass cleaner when appellant rushed back in through the door to the lobby. She recognized him as a regular customer who came to the business three-to-four times a day, and she had often seen him. She said that, when he rushed in, he had a gun in his hand and pointed it at her. He asked for money, and she told him that she had to go back behind the register to get it. He walked her out the door, and they had to go back in through the other door to get to the register. She unlocked the register, and he grabbed the money. He then asked her to get on the ground, and she sat in the doorway between the register and the office. He approached and stood in front of her. He pulled his pants down and asked her for oral sex, but she refused. He threatened to shoot her, and she told him that her assistant manager was going to be back any minute. Appellant then struck her across the left side of her face with the gun, grabbed two cartons of Newport cigarettes, and ran out the door. D.A. called the police and pressed the silent alarm. She told the operator that she needed the police and an ambulance. She said that she had a cut above her left eye and had swelling from her cheek down to her jaw.

She later identified appellant from a photo spread, and she identified him in the courtroom. She also said that since this had happened, she had seen appellant on three occasions in a different Exxon store in Little Rock where she now works.

Officer Nikie Persons testified that he was dispatched on June 26, 2013, to the Exxon store around 7:40 a.m., and he had been told by the dispatcher that a robbery suspect had returned to the scene from an earlier robbery on that same day, got gas, and left the gas station. He obtained information from the two employees, who described the robber, his car, and the license-plate number. They also told Officer Persons that there had been video surveillance of the robbery. From the vehicle description and license plate obtained from the employees, Officer Persons obtained appellant's address. Appellant was arrested at his home after he had been identified from a photo array. Officer Persons said that appellant appeared groggy and to be possibly under the influence of something at the time of his arrest. No money, cigarettes, or clothes from the robbery were found at appellant's residence.

Detective Van Thomas testified that he was dispatched to the Exxon at the time the robbery occurred. He observed D.A.'s injuries and saw that she was very emotional. He was not able to download the video from the security footage, but took pictures of the computer screen depicting the robbery. He testified that later that morning, employees from Exxon called stating that the same individual they believed they saw on the computer screen had just come into the store to purchase gas. As they were calling 911, they obtained the license-plate number of the vehicle. Detective Thomas said that he ran the license-plate number through different police database systems and located appellant's name and address. He then created a photo spread for the victim, who positively identified appellant.

At the end of the State's evidence, appellant moved for directed verdicts on each count, arguing separately that there was nothing found at the residence that would associate him with the robbery; that the State did not prove that a substantial step was taken to commit rape; and that there was no testimony that the cigarettes were taken from the premises. The trial court denied appellant's motions.

Detective Thomas, testifying for the defense, stated that neither appellant's fingerprints nor DNA were found at the scene. Appellant testified that he was at home asleep around 3:30 a.m. on June 26, 2013. His mother, his brother, and his child were home with him. He denied committing the robbery and claimed that he did not visit the Exxon more than once a day. He denied that the pictures were of him, explaining that his gut was bigger than that of the man's in the picture, that he has ...


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