FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTH DIVISION [NO.
60CR-14-1889] HONORABLE HERBERT THOMAS WRIGHT, JUDGE
Mullenix & Reardon, P.A., by: D. Ryan Mullenix; and The
Baxter Law Firm, by: Ray Baxter, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Evelyn D. Gomez, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
Abramson and Gruber, JJ., agree.
F. VIRDEN, Judge.
Pulaski County Circuit Court convicted appellant Trencie
Oliver of second-degree unlawful discharge of a firearm from
a vehicle and possession of a firearm by certain persons. He
was sentenced as a habitual offender to thirty years'
imprisonment for each conviction with those sentences running
concurrently. On appeal, Oliver argues that (1) the trial
court erred in denying his motion to dismiss, (2) the State
destroyed potentially exculpatory evidence, and (3) the trial
court erred in its admission of evidence. We
Andre Dyer with the Little Rock Police Department testified
that on the evening of May 9, 2014, he was working
"saturation detail" in an area near the
intersection of University Avenue and Colonel Glenn
Road/Asher Avenue. Dyer described this intersection as
"well lit." Dyer was sitting at a red light behind
one other vehicle on Colonel Glenn facing east and was in the
inner of two northbound turn lanes. Dyer stated that there
were two lanes to turn left off of University and onto
Colonel Glenn and that there was a GMC truck in the inner
lane closest to his patrol vehicle. As the truck turned onto
Colonel Glenn, Dyer saw the driver stick his left arm out of
the window and fire three rounds into the air. Dyer stated
that he could clearly see the firearm.
testified that other vehicles had come to a stop, allowing
him to turn around and pursue the truck, which eventually
turned into the parking lot of an apartment complex and
parked next to a dumpster. According to Dyer, a man later
identified as Trencie Oliver exited the truck from the
driver's side and immediately began screaming at the
officer and asking why he had been stopped. Dyer testified
that, at the same time, a person later identified as Gregory
Oliver (Gregory) exited from the passenger's side and
placed something behind the dumpster. Dyer ordered them to
return to the vehicle. Another officer searched near the
dumpster and found a black revolver containing three live
rounds and three shell casings. According to Dyer, it was the
same firearm that he had seen being discharged from the
truck. Dyer testified that both men were transported to the
precinct and that he heard Oliver tell Gregory to "keep
[his] damn mouth shut." Defense counsel moved for
dismissal at the close of the State's case, and the trial
court denied the motion.
then took the stand in his own defense and testified that,
when he arrived home from work on May 9, 2014, he was
confronted by his wife complaining that his nephew, Gregory,
had called her names, had acted "crazy, " and had
scared their grandchildren. Oliver agreed to take Gregory to
a relative's home. On the way there, Gregory was speaking
angrily on a cell phone with someone and began beating the
dashboard of Oliver's truck. Oliver yelled at Gregory to
stop. Oliver said, "The next thing I know, [Gregory]
come up and just went boom, boom, boom, and I saw a blue
light at the Kum & Go."
testified that he gave a statement to the police the night he
and Oliver were arrested. According to Gregory, he had told
an officer, "Officer, I didn't have a gun. I
didn't see no gun. I'm not a snitch." When the
officer asked who had fired the gun, Gregory told him that
Oliver had done it but that "he was just shooting in the
air." Louise Taylor, Oliver's sister, testified
that, when she spoke with Gregory later that night, he told
her that the police had stopped him and Oliver "for
nothing" in that they had been only "playing"
by "shooting a gun up in the sky."
counsel renewed his motion to dismiss on the same grounds as
those asserted at the close of the State's case. The
motion was again denied, and Oliver was convicted of
second-degree unlawful discharge of a firearm and possession
of a firearm by certain persons.
Arguments and Discussion
Sufficiency of the Evidence
motion to dismiss at a bench trial is a challenge to the
sufficiency of the evidence. Harris v. State, 2016
Ark.App. 23, 480 S.W.3d 229. On appeal, this court views the
evidence in the light most favorable to the State,
considering only the evidence that supports the conviction.
Id. This court will affirm a conviction if there is
substantial evidence to support it, which is evidence of
sufficient force and character that it will compel a
conclusion with reasonable certainty. Id.
Determinations of credibility and the weight of the evidence
are matters for the circuit court and not for this court to
decide on appeal. Id. ...