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Allmon-Lipscomb v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

May 10, 2017

QIANA ALLMON-LIPSCOMB APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NINTH DIVISION [NO. 60PR-95-376] HONORABLE MARY SPENCER MCGOWAN, JUDGE

          William R. Simpson, Jr., Public Defender, by: Clint Miller, Deputy Pub. Def., for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Adam Jackson, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          LARRY D. VAUGHT, Judge

         Appellant Qiana Allmon-Lipscomb appeals from an order entered by the Pulaski County Circuit Court revoking her order of conditional release, claiming there was insufficient evidence that she violated the conditions of her release. We affirm.

         On February 9, 1995, Lipscomb (sixteen years old at the time) was acquitted by reason of mental disease or defect of the offenses of aggravated assault, terroristic threatening, and endangering the welfare of a minor.[1] She was committed to the custody of the director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) for evaluation and treatment. Over the course of the next seventeen years, Lipscomb was conditionally released from treatment and had her release revoked five times.

          On September 5, 2012, the circuit court entered its most recent order granting Lipscomb a conditional release. The order stated that Lipscomb's primary diagnosis is "Personality Disorder, Cluster B Type (including Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic and Antisocial traits)." Some of the conditions of her release included that she comply in all aspects with recommended medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment and therapy; take all medications currently prescribed; remain at her approved residence and not leave without prior authorization from her treatment team; and submit to one-to-one supervision, twenty-four hours per day. The order of conditional release was modified on September 19, 2014, to change her treatment team. All other conditions of her release remained the same. The order was modified a second time on August 31, 2015, due to Lipscomb's lack of compliance. The August 31 order provided that she was to comply in all respects with recommended treatment and therapy, comply with curfew requirements, and submit to twenty-four-hour-per-day nursing supervision. Regarding the nursing supervision, the order stated that "[Lipscomb] and her [one-to-one nursing] staff shall treat each other with dignity and respect at all times."

         On December 4, 2015, the State filed a motion for revocation of conditional release, alleging that Lipscomb was not in compliance. The motion attached a report of Sonya Davis, a certified nursing assistant employed by Arkansas Healthcare Personnel (AHP), who was assigned one-to-one nursing supervision of Lipscomb. Davis's report details an incident on November 17, 2015, when Lipscomb became upset; yelled and cursed at her (Lipscomb's) boyfriend, her four-year-old daughter, and Davis; and threatened to kill Davis and the boyfriend with a butcher knife. According to Davis, Lipscomb's boyfriend tackled Lipscomb, causing her to drop the knife. Davis said Lipscomb "ran back up on me[, ] chest to chest[, ] pointing in my face saying she was going to kick my ass." Davis reported that Lipscomb said that she was not scared to go back to the state hospital, that she had killed somebody before and all they did was lock her up in the hospital, and that she would do it again. Davis's report also stated that Lipscomb pushed her daughter to the ground during the incident.

         On March 3, 2016, the circuit court held a hearing regarding the State's motion to revoke Lipscomb's conditional release, and on April 11, 2016, the court issued a five-page order granting the motion. The circuit court detailed the history of this case, including Lipscomb's criminal history, [2] and summarized the hearing testimony. The court then found:

In this case, based on the testimony presented, the Court finds that Qiana Allmon[-Lipscomb] threatened Sonia Davis with a knife, verbally threatened to assault Ms. Davis, assaulted her own four[-]year[-]old child, and threatened to assault another patient at the Arkansas State Hospital. All of these actions are violations of the conditional release order.

         This appeal followed.

         We review proceedings regarding the conditional release and revocation of an acquittee by mental disease or defect de novo, but the decision of the court will not be disturbed unless clearly erroneous. M.E. v. State, 2010 Ark.App. 394, at 3-4. In making our review, we give due regard to the superior position and opportunity of the court to determine the credibility of the witnesses. Id. at 4. A finding is clearly erroneous when, although there is evidence to support it, the appellate court after reviewing the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed. Id.

The governing statute provides that
[a]fter notice to the conditionally released person and a hearing, the court may determine that the conditionally released person has violated a condition of release or that for the safety of the conditionally released person or for the safety of the person or property of another person the conditional release should be modified, extended ...

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