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Boose v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

May 10, 2017

CODY ALAN BOOSE APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE FAULKNER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 23CR-15-251] HONORABLE CHARLES E. CLAWSON, JR., JUDGE

         AFFIRMED.

          John Wesley Hall and Sarah M. Pourhosseini, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Amanda Jegley, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          KENNETH S. HIXSON, Judge.

         Appellant Cody Alan Boose appeals after he was convicted by a Faulkner County jury of battery in the first degree (law enforcement officer) and of a firearm enhancement. He was sentenced to serve a total of 540 months in the Arkansas Department of Correction. On appeal, appellant contends that (1) the jury instructions violated his due-process rights and (2) the trial court erred in not granting his Batson challenge. We affirm.

         Because appellant does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence against him, only a brief recitation of the facts is necessary. Arnold v. State, 2012 Ark. 400. Appellant was charged by felony information with first-degree battery (law enforcement officer) and with a firearm enhancement.[1] The evidence presented at trial indicated that the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office executed a "no knock" warrant at appellant's home in Conway, Arkansas. After the home was breached during the execution of the warrant and after an announcement was made that it was the Sheriff's department, appellant shot Deputy Eugene Watlington in the side. The jury convicted appellant of first-degree battery, specifically finding beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was a law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty and that appellant employed a firearm as a means of committing battery in the first degree. The jury recommended a sentence of 30 years' imprisonment for battery in the first degree and 15 years' imprisonment for employing a firearm, for which the trial court imposed a total of 45 years' imprisonment. This appeal followed.

         I. Jury Instructions

         A circuit court's decision whether to give an instruction will not be reversed unless the court abused its discretion. Vidos v. State, 367 Ark. 296, 239 S.W.3d 467 (2006). A party is entitled to a jury instruction when it is a correct statement of the law and when there is some basis in the evidence to support giving the instruction. Id. Nonmodel jury instructions should be given only when the trial court finds that the model instructions do not accurately state the law or do not contain a necessary instruction. Bond v. State, 374 Ark. 332, 288 S.W.3d 206 (2008). Finally, a trial court's refusal to give an instruction is not reversible error unless its omission infects the entire trial such that the conviction violates due process. Hickman v. State, 372 Ark. 438, 277 S.W.3d 217 (2008); Branstetter v. State, 346 Ark. 62, 57 S.W.3d 105 (2001).

         Here, appellant was found guilty of committing first-degree battery against a law enforcement officer in violation of Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-13-201 (Repl. 2013).[2] Section 5-13-201 states,

(a) A person commits battery in the first degree if:
(8) With the purpose of causing physical injury to another person, the person causes physical injury to any person by means of a firearm;
(c)(1) Except as provided in subdivisions (c)(2) and (3) of this section, battery in the first degree is a Class B felony.
(2) Battery in the first degree is a Class Y felony under the circumstances described in subdivision (a)(9) of this section.
(3) Battery in the first degree is a Class Y felony if the injured person is a law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty.

         Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-201 (emphasis added). For a Class B felony, the maximum sentence is 20 years' imprisonment. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-401(a)(3). However, for a Class Y felony, the sentence is 10 to 40 years or life imprisonment. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-401(a)(1).

         In this case, the jury was read the following relevant jury instructions:[3]

Cody Boose is charged with the offense of Battery in the First Degree. To sustain this charge the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Cody Boose with the purpose of causing physical injury to another person caused physical injury to Eugene Watlington by means of a firearm.
The State has alleged that Cody Boose employed a firearm as a means of committing Battery in the First Degree. To sustain this allegation the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Cody Boose employed a firearm as a means of committing Battery in the First Degree.
If you find Cody Boose guilty of the offense of Battery in the First Degree, you will so indicate on the verdict form to be provided to you.
You will also make a finding about whether Cody Boose employed a firearm as a means of ...

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