SEYOUM A. CLARK APPELLANT
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SEVENTH DIVISION [NO.
CR2011-2097] HONORABLE BARRY SIMS, JUDGE
C. Krause, Deputy Pub. Def., by: Clint Miller, Deputy Pub.
Def., for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Ashley Priest, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
D. VAUGHT, JUDGE
Clark is appealing the Pulaski County Circuit Court's
order revoking his probation. His sole argument on appeal is
that, although the State proved that he violated the terms
and conditions of his probation, it did not prove that the
violations were inexcusable. We affirm.
2012, Clark pled guilty to second-degree battery. He was
fined $1, 000, ordered to pay $5, 309.52 in restitution, and
sentenced to four years' probation. The restitution was
to be paid in monthly installments of $115.
2013, the State filed a motion to revoke Clark's
probation. Clark pled guilty to the probation revocation. The
court accepted his guilty plea and sentenced him to three
years and eight months' probation. Clark was ordered to
meet with his probation officer monthly, pay $35 per month in
supervision fees, pay a $200 fine for the revocation, and pay
restitution to the victim as previously ordered.
30, 2014, the State filed a second revocation petition
alleging that Clark had failed to pay his fines, fees, and
restitution; failed to complete drug treatment; failed to
complete community service; and failed to complete
anger-management classes. A revocation hearing was held on
August 10, 2015, at which the State presented testimony from
one witness: Clark's probation officer Chioma
Hawkins-Thompson. Clark concedes that the undisputed evidence
was that he had failed to make the required payments and
failed to meet monthly with his probation officer. Officer
Hawkins-Thompson testified that the probationary conditions
had been explained to Clark and that Clark had accepted them.
The evidence also revealed that Clark had made one
restitution payment of $140 in May 2015 but had failed to
make any additional restitution payments or make any payments
toward his fines and fees. The circuit court revoked his
probation and sentenced him to six years' imprisonment.
filed a timely notice of appeal. His only point on appeal is
that, while the State proved that he failed to comply with
the terms and conditions of his probation, it failed to prove
that the violations were "inexcusable." Costes
v. State, 103 Ark.App. 171, 173, 287 S.W.3d 639, 644
Code Annotated section 16-93-308(d) (Supp. 2015) authorizes a
trial court to revoke a defendant's probation at any time
during its pendency if the court finds by a preponderance of
the evidence that the defendant inexcusably failed to comply
with a condition of his probation. Collins v. State,
2015 Ark.App. 600, at 2, 474 S.W.3d 531, 533. The State need
only prove one violation of the terms and conditions of
probation to sustain a revocation. Id. Appellate
courts will affirm a circuit court's grant of a petition
to revoke a defendant's probation unless the court's
findings are clearly against a preponderance of the evidence.
Wilcox v. State, 99 Ark.App. 220, 222, 258 S.W.3d
785, 787 (2007).
argues that, because the statute requires a finding that the
defendant inexcusably violated the terms and conditions of
probation, the State was required to prove that Clark's
violations were inexcusable. However, we have previously held
that once the State introduces evidence of nonpayment, the
defendant bears the burden of going forward with some
reasonable excuse for his failure to pay:
Where the alleged violation involves the failure to pay
ordered amounts, and the State has introduced evidence of
nonpayment, the burden shifts to the probationer to provide a
reasonable excuse for the failure to pay. It is the
probationer's obligation to justify his failure to pay,
and this shifting of the burden of production provides an
opportunity to explain the reasons for nonpayment. The State,
however, shoulders the ultimate burden of proving that the
probationer's failure to pay was inexcusable.
Collins, 2015 Ark.App. 600, at 2-3, 474 S.W.3d at
533 (internal citations omitted). Clark failed to present any
evidence justifying his failure to pay. Therefore, we affirm
the circuit court's revocation of his probation.