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Flowers v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

March 11, 2015

DEMETRIOUS FLOWERS, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE CRAIGHEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT. NO. CR-11-547. HONORABLE VICTOR L. HILL, JUDGE.

Affirmed.

Paul J. Teufel, for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Rachel Kemp, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

ABRAMSON and HOOFMAN, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 251

KENNETH S. HIXSON, Judge.

Appellant Demetrious Flowers appeals the revocation of his probation by the Craighead County Circuit Court. Appellant does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to support revocation of his probation. He raises two arguments in support of reversal, contending that the trial court erred (1) by denying him the right to confront one of the witnesses against him, and (2) by not sua sponte halting the proceedings to determine whether appellant was mentally fit to proceed. Appellant's first argument is not preserved for appellate review, and appellant's second point is not meritorious. Consequently, we affirm.

Appellant pleaded guilty in September 2011 to the crime of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver in exchange for a five-year probationary term. He agreed to abide by certain conditions during probation, including that he live a law-abiding life and commit no crimes. The State filed three petitions to revoke probation, alleging several violations of conditions, the last petition being amended in June 2014. Appellant was accused of committing criminal acts in separate episodes that occurred in March 2013, July 2013, December 2013, March 2014, and April 2014. The hearing on the petition for revocation was conducted on June 19, 2014.

As part of the State's case, it called Lisa McBroom to the stand. McBroom was the victim of two of appellant's alleged crimes committed on July 1, 2013, those being residential burglary and theft of property (a gun). McBroom testified that she lived in Jonesboro and knew appellant as " Dee." She sad that Dee came to her door and knocked, asking to mow her yard and for a soda. When she turned to get him a soft drink, she said that appellant came into her home without permission, grabbed her forty-caliber Smith and Wesson gun from under the coffee table, and fled.

During appellant's attorney's cross-examination of McBroom, counsel told the trial judge: " Your Honor, he's wanting to ask her a question directly." The judge said no. Cross-examination proceeded by defense counsel. The transcript indicates that defense counsel paused to talk with appellant multiple times during this cross-examination. The transcript also indicates that the trial court recommended that if appellant had any questions to ask, he should pass those on to his attorney to ask on his behalf, which he did. No further objection or argument was made on this topic.

Appellant's first argument on appeal asserts that the trial court erred in denying appellant his Sixth Amendment right to confront this witness against him. The State contends that this constitutional issue is not preserved for appellate review, and we agree with the State.

An appellant is bound by the scope and nature of the objections raised at the trial-court level, and an appellant must attain a ruling from the trial court in order to preserve the issue for appeal. Roston v. State, 362 Ark. 408, 208 S.W.3d 759 (2005). This is true even for arguments that are constitutional in nature. Id. Nowhere did appellant raise an objection, much less a confrontation-clause violation, for the trial court to consider or upon which to rule. Thus, this argument is not preserved for appellate review.

In his second point on appeal, appellant argues that the trial court erred by not sua sponte halting the proceedings to determine whether appellant was mentally fit to proceed, ...


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