FROM THE INDEPENDENCE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO.
32CR-2014-223] HONORABLE JOHN DAN KEMP, JUDGE
Hancock Law Firm, by: Sharon Kiel, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Brad Newman, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
F. VIRDEN, JUDGE
Independence County jury convicted appellant Lee Sullivan
Ivory of possession of a controlled substance, possession of
drug paraphernalia, and failure to appear. He was sentenced
as a habitual offender to an aggregate term of forty-two
years in prison. He does not challenge the sufficiency of the
evidence supporting his convictions. His only argument is
that the trial court erred in permitting him to represent
himself at trial. We affirm.
Arraignments and Pretrial Hearings
Arraignment (Drug Offenses)-November 18, 2014
November 14, 2014, the State filed an information charging
Ivory with possession of a controlled substance and
possession of drug paraphernalia on October 30, 2014. At his
arraignment, the trial court informed Ivory of the range of
punishment available for each Class D felony offense. The
following colloquy occurred:
Court: And since you're facing a possible prison
sentence, you have the right to the assistance of counsel. If
the Court determines you're an indigent and can't
afford to hire an attorney, then the Court can appoint an
attorney which will be paid for by the State in representing
Ivory: I waive all them rights.
Court: Okay, so you're wanting to waive your right to an
Ivory: I waive it all. I want to defend myself.
Court: Okay, before the Court can allow you to do that,
you're going to have to fill out some paperwork. Can you
read and write?
. . . .
Court: I'm going to need to have a hearing to determine
that you're voluntarily, that you're knowingly, and
that you're intelligently waiving your right to an
attorney and that you're competent to do so. So we'll
give you these forms and I've got to make those
determinations before the Court is going to allow you to
waive an attorney and represent yourself.
. . . .
Court: Mr. Ivory, when you appeared earlier this morning,
you'd indicated to the Court that you wanted to waive
your right to an attorney. Is that correct?
Ivory: That's right, sir.
. . . .
Court: [S]ince you are requesting to represent yourself and
waive your right to an attorney, the Court needs to make a
determination if you're voluntarily, knowingly, and
intelligently waiving your right to an attorney and that
you're competent to do so. And for the Court to do that,
you're going to have to answer some questions that
I'm going to ask you regarding these issues.
. . . .
Court: How old are you?
Ivory: Fifty years old.
Court: Are you a high school graduate?
Ivory: No, sir. I have a GED.
Court: Do you have any college hours?
. . . .
Ivory: One semester.
Court: What college?
Ivory: Shorter College, North Little Rock.
Court: Do you understand these proceedings here today?
Ivory: Yes, I do.
Court: Is there anything that prevents you from understanding
Ivory: Due to lack of reading my law books and the lack of
law material in the county jail, that's it.
Court: Are you under the influence of drugs or alcohol today?
Ivory: No, sir.
. . . .
Court: Since you're facing two [Class D felonies],
you're facing a maximum of not more than twelve years in
prison or fines of not more than twenty thousand dollars or
both. So do you understand the maximum range of punishment?
Court: And do you understand that under the Constitution of
the United States and the Constitution of the State of
Arkansas that you're entitled to and will be provided
legal counsel free of charge if you're financially unable
to obtain legal counsel without causing substantial hardship
to yourself or your family? Do you understand that?
Court: Do you understand that the Court will not continue
further in these proceedings until counsel is provided if you
request it? And knowing this, do you voluntarily and with
knowledge of these rights, waive your right to counsel?
Court: Do you further understand that even if you're
allowed to waive your right to counsel at this time, that
that shall not preclude you or prevent you from claiming your
right to counsel in these proceedings until the proceedings
are completed. Do you understand that?
Ivory: Right. Yes, sir.
Court: Also I need to inform you that you're entitled to
legal counsel at every stage of these proceedings where
substantial rights of a criminal accused may be affected. So
do you understand that?
Ivory: Could you repeat that again?
Court: Okay. You're entitled to have legal counsel at
every stage of these proceedings where substantial rights of
a criminal accused may be affected. So do you understand
Court: Okay, I need to advise you of some of the dangers and
disadvantages of self-representation that include but are not
limited to the following. There's a danger of knowing
when or if you should waive certain rights. Do you understand
Court: The Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Rules of
Evidence will be enforced by this Court. Do you understand
. . . .
Court: The Court is not going to advise you one way or
another in this case like an attorney would. So do you
understand the Court's not going to assist or advise you?
Do you understand that?
Ivory: Lead me, right.
Court: You do?
Court: Also, a working knowledge of court procedure, of the
rules of evidence, and of conducting a hearing or trial are
essential. So do you understand that?
Court: If motions or objections are not timely or correctly
made, then they will not be considered by the court. Do ...