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Estell v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

January 18, 2017

DERRICK GLENN ESTELL APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE GARLAND COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 26CR-2014-83] HONORABLE MARCIA R. HEARNSBERGER, JUDGE

         AFFIRMED; MOTION TO WITHDRAW GRANTED

          The Lancaster Law Firm, PLLC, by: Clinton W. Lancaster, for appellant.

          No response.

          LARRY D. VAUGHT, Judge

         On February 10, 2015, in the Circuit Court of Garland County, Derrick Glenn Estell entered a conditional guilty plea, pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 24.3(b)(ii), to second-degree escape, reserving his right to appeal the denial of his motion to dismiss based on a speedy-trial violation. On appeal, Estell's counsel has filed a motion to withdraw as counsel and a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), and Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 4-3(k) (2016), arguing that there is no merit to an appeal. Estell was notified of his right to file pro se points, but he did not do so. We affirm the order denying Estell's motion to dismiss and grant counsel's motion to withdraw.

         The events giving rise to this appeal occurred on July 28, 2013, when Estell was an Arkansas Department of Correction inmate who had been transferred to the Garland County Sheriff's Office for a court appearance on an unrelated matter. Around 1:15 p.m., Estell escaped through a small sliding window in the booking area, ran to a vehicle that was waiting for him, and fled.

         On November 12, 2013, Estell was arrested by authorities in Florida on unrelated federal charges. On February 7, 2014, while in federal custody, Estell was charged in the Garland County Circuit Court with third-degree escape stemming from his flight from the Garland County Sheriff's Office in July 2013. On April 1, 2014, Estell, still in federal custody, appeared before the Garland County Circuit Court by video and was served with a bench warrant relating to the third-degree-escape charge.

         Estell has remained in federal custody throughout the duration of this case.[1] The record reflects that the Garland County Sheriff's Office placed a detainer/hold on Estell while he was in federal custody. The county also requested the United States Marshall's office to release Estell for prosecution; however, the request was denied. His trial on the Garland County escape charge was scheduled and continued several times due to his unavailability.

         On February 5, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Prisons transferred Estell to the custody of Arkansas for prosecution. On February 10, 2016, Estell filed a motion to dismiss for speedy-trial violation. He argued that more than one year had elapsed since the date of his arrest. He conceded that one period of time-from June 3, 2014, to July 29, 2014-was attributable to him. However, he contended that all other continuances were the result of the federal authorities' refusal to allow him to be transported and that the circuit court erroneously charged those continuances to him. Estell argued that he had made a prima facia case under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 28.1 that his right to a speedy trial had been violated.

         The circuit court denied Estell's motion on February 10, 2016, and that same day, Estell entered a conditional guilty plea. On March 7, 2016, the circuit court entered its sentencing order, finding that Estell had pled guilty to second-degree escape and sentencing him as a habitual offender to forty years' imprisonment. On March 8, 2016, Estell timely appealed, and his counsel's no-merit appeal followed.

         Because this is a no-merit appeal, counsel is required to list each ruling adverse to the defendant and to explain why each adverse ruling does not present a meritorious ground for reversal. Anders, 386 U.S. at 744; Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 4-3(k)(1); Eads v. State, 74 Ark.App. 363, 365, 47 S.W.3d 918, 919 (2001). The test is not whether counsel thinks the circuit court committed no reversible error, but whether the points to be raised on appeal would be wholly frivolous. Anders, 386 U.S. at 744; Eads, 74 Ark.App. at 365, 47 S.W.3d at 919. Pursuant to Anders, we are required to determine whether the case is wholly frivolous after a full examination of all the proceedings. Anders, 386 U.S. at 744; Eads, 74 Ark.App. at 365, 47 S.W.3d at 919.

         In compliance with the directive in Anders and Rule 4-3(k), counsel claims that he has thoroughly examined the record of this proceeding and has concluded that an appeal would be wholly frivolous in this case. He identifies one adverse ruling-the denial of his motion to dismiss based on a speedy-trial violation.

         As a general rule, a defendant has no right to appeal from a plea of guilty. Ark. R. App. P.-Crim. 1(a) (2016). However, a defendant may appeal from a conditional guilty plea to review an adverse determination of a pretrial motion to dismiss a charge because he was not brought to trial within twelve months pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 24.3(b)(ii) (2016). Here, Estell pled guilty on the condition that he could ...


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