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McClain v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

April 13, 2016

JAMES LEE MCCLAIN, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NOS. CR-2011-212-1 & CR-2013-1606-1. HONORABLE MARK LINDSAY, JUDGE.

         For Appellant: David Michael Hogue.

         For Appellee: Jacob Helderman Jones, Attorney General.

         DAVID M. GLOVER, Judge. KINARD and HOOFMAN, JJ., agree.

          OPINION

          DAVID M. GLOVER, Judge

         James McClain appeals the May 7, 2015 revocation of his probation. As his sole point of appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the revocation. We affirm.

         On February 22, 2011, McClain was charged with felony nonsupport in Case No. CR2011-212-1. He entered a guilty plea to one count of nonsupport and was sentenced to 120 months of supervised probation. He was subsequently charged with the offense of second-degree battery in Case No. CR2013-1606-1; he entered guilty pleas, both to the battery charge (CR2013-1606-1) and to a petition to revoke the probation he had received in the nonsupport case (CR2011-212-1). By sentencing order entered on December 4, 2013, on revocation of the felony nonsupport offense, he received 120 months of suspended imposition of sentence, and on the second-degree battery offense, he received 72 months' probation. Both his suspended sentence and probation included in the terms and conditions that he commit no new violations of the law.

          On March 27, 2015, the State filed a petition to revoke in both cases, alleging McClain had violated the terms and conditions of his suspended sentence and probation by failing to appear for trial in Washington County, Arkansas, and by being convicted of one felony offense and three misdemeanor criminal offenses in the State of Oregon.

         At the May 6, 2015 revocation hearing, the State introduced evidence that McClain had failed to appear as ordered for a trial in Washington County, Arkansas, on July 7, 2014, and evidence showing that McClain had been convicted of four offenses in Lane County, Oregon. McClain then testified he had a medical condition that often required hospitalization and that he was in the hospital in Springdale, Arkansas, on July 7, 2014, when he was supposed to be in court. He claimed he called the court from the hospital to tell someone he would not be able to make it. He further testified he had appealed the Oregon convictions and they were still pending. McClain did not introduce any other evidence to support his own testimony.

         Following the hearing, the trial court concluded McClain had violated the terms of his probation and his suspended sentence by committing new criminal offenses and by failing to appear for court. The trial court explained in pertinent part,

5. That the State presented exhibits showing that while Defendant was subject to these conditions, the Defendant pled guilty to a Felony criminal offense and three Misdemeanor criminal offenses in the State of Oregon, and additionally, presented an exhibit showing Defendant Failed to Appear for Court for Trial, C Felony, in the State of Arkansas.
6. That Defendant took the stand to testify on his behalf and admitted that he was the same person who was shown in all of these exhibits. The Defendant also made the assertion that he was in a hospital at the time of the Failure to Appear but could not state which hospital and had no other proof that he was actually in any hospital at the time of his Failure to Appear.
7. That this Court found the State proved its case by the Preponderance of the Evidence that Defendant was in violation to the terms of his Probation and his Suspended Sentence for committing new criminal offenses and for failing to appear for court. This finding was based on the exhibits received and the testimony of the Defendant. The trial court revoked both McClain's probation and suspended sentence and sentenced him to six years on the second-degree battery and ten years on the nonsupport, to be served concurrently in the Arkansas Department of Correction.

         The trial court revoked both McClain's probation and suspended sentence and sentenced him to six years on the second-degree battery and ten years on the nonsupport, to be ...


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