FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, EIGHTH DIVISION [NO.
60JV-2015-969] HONORABLE WILEY A. BRANTON, JR., JUDGE
Bowers Lee, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for
Firth, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Chrestman Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad
litem for minor children.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Terrones appeals the Pulaski County Circuit Court order
terminating his parental rights to his children M.T. and J.T.
On appeal, Terrones argues that the circuit court erred in
finding that (1) a statutory ground supported termination and
(2) it was in the best interest of the children to terminate
his parental rights. We affirm.
5, 2015, the Arkansas Department of Human Services
("DHS") exercised an emergency hold over M.T.,
J.T., and their half-sibling, K.T., after having received a
call that their mother, Kayla Jackson,  had been admitted to Baptist Hospital for
seizures. At the hospital, Jackson expressed suicidal
thoughts and admitted methamphetamine use.
8, 2015, DHS filed a petition for emergency custody. The
affidavit attached to the petition stated that DHS had taken
an emergency hold of the children based on Jackson's
inability to care for them, Jackson's history of
methamphetamine use, and the lack of another proper
caregiver. The affidavit noted that the children had been
living with Terrones. On July 8, 2015, the court entered an
ex parte order for emergency custody.
14, 2015, the court found probable cause for the emergency
custody. The court listed Terrones as the putative father of
M.T., J.T., and K.T. and ordered that paternity be
established by DNA testing.
August 27, 2015, the court adjudicated the children
dependent-neglected. The court noted DHS's extensive
history with Jackson dating back to 2006. The court found
that the children had been subjected to aggravated
circumstances in that it was unlikely that services to the
family would result in successful reunification within a
reasonable time. The court noted that Terrones was not
believed to be the father of K.T. and further noted that he
had been on probation for domestic violence against Jackson.
The court ordered Terrones to submit to a psychological
evaluation, a drug-and-alcohol assessment, and
drug-and-alcohol screenings; attend parenting classes; and
obtain and maintain stable and appropriate housing. The court
noted that Terrones remained married to another woman, Angel
Martin, even though he planned to continue his relationship
with Jackson. The court advised him to get a divorce.
November 3, 2015, the court held a permanency-planning
hearing, and on December 3, 2015, the court entered a
permanency-planning order. In the order, the court noted that
DNA tests reflected that Terrones is the biological father of
M.T. and J.T. but not K.T. The court further noted that
Terrones had tested negative on his drug screens. As to
Jackson, the court noted that she was pregnant and that she
had tested positive on a drug screen. The court found that
DHS had made reasonable efforts to provide family services.
The court continued the goal as reunification.
April 5, 2016, the court appointed Terrones an attorney. On
that same day, the court held a second permanency-planning
hearing. And on May 12, 2016, the court entered a
permanency-planning order. In the order, the court found that DHS had
made reasonable efforts to provide family services. The court
noted that Jackson had a drug screen with no temperature
reading in March 2016, which the court found indicated
deceit. As to Terrones, the court noted that he had tested
negative on his drugs screens and had made some efforts to
comply with the court's orders. The court further noted
that Terrones had submitted to psychological evaluation but
the results were "not favorable." The court
referenced the results of a home study, which stated,
There is also some indication of possible instability within
the relationship with [Jackson's] live-in boyfriend
[Terrones] as evidenced by their report of no separations
within their relationship yet there is at least one child
fathered by someone other than the boyfriend [Terrones]
within the reported time that they ...