FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SEVENTH DIVSION [NO.
60CR-13-1193] HONORABLE BARRY SIMS, JUDGE AFFIRMED
Willard Proctor, Jr., P.A., by: Willard Proctor, Jr., for
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Rebecca Kane, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Pulaski County jury convicted Lawana Stockstill of
first-degree terroristic threatening and aggravated assault
of her former roommate Steven Jackson. She appeals her convictions and argues
that the circuit court (1) abused its discretion by admitting
Officer David Moore's opinion testimony; (2) abused its
discretion by denying her motion for a mistrial; and (3)
erred in denying her directed-verdict motion on the charge of
first-degree terroristic threatening. We affirm.
trial, Jackson testified that she and Stockstill had lived
together in his house as platonic roommates and that
Stockstill had agreed to pay the utility bills in lieu of
rent. He explained that on March 8, 2013, he discovered that
Stockstill had failed to pay the gas bill; so, while she was
away from the house, he threw her clothes onto the hallway
floor and removed the hinges from her bedroom door. He
testified that when Stockstill returned home later that
night, she discovered the clothes and the door, became angry,
grabbed a kitchen knife, and chased him around the house. He
explained that they began to wrestle and she stabbed him in
the head, arm, and leg.
Jackson's testimony, when the prosecutor asked him,
"What happened when [Stockstill came] home that
night?" Jackson stated,
When she [came] home that night and [saw] her clothes in the
floor and walked into her bedroom she did something and came
out, ran toward the kitchen. Well, when she ran toward the
kitchen, I knew what she was doing because she has a track
record of stabbing.
attorney immediately objected but did not state a specific
ground. The court sustained the objection. The prosecutor
then advised Jackson, "Let's just talk about what
happened that night."
David Moore then testified that he responded to a call and
went to Jackson's residence on March 8, 2013, and found
the house in disarray with multiple broken items and a large
amount of blood on the floor. He stated that he advised
Stockstill of her Miranda rights and that Stockstill
provided him with written and oral statements.
his testimony, the State asked Officer Moore whether he was
"able to determine the aggressor of the situation."
Stockstill's attorney objected and argued that Officer
Moore's answer would offer an inappropriate opinion. The
court overruled his objection. Officer Moore then testified,
"From my experience as a police officer, we determined
that Stockstill was the aggressor."
Following Officer Moore's testimony, the State offered
the testimony of Officer Kari Reed. The State then rested its
case. At that time, Stockstill moved for a mistrial based on
Jackson's comment that Stockstill had a "track
record of stabbing." The court denied the motion.
Stockstill's attorney then moved for a directed verdict
on the charge of first-degree terroristic
threatening. She argued that the State
failed to present evidence that she threatened to cause
serious physical injury or death to Jackson. The court denied
then testified on her own behalf. She denied threatening to
kill or physically injure Jackson and denied purposely
cutting or causing injury to Jackson. She stated that she
retrieved the knife after Jackson became aggressive with her
and that she cut him in self-defense.
her testimony, Stockstill renewed her motions for a mistrial
and for a directed verdict on the first-degree
terroristic-threatening charge. The court denied them. The
jury then found Stockstill guilty of aggravated assault and