FROM THE ARKANSAS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NORTHERN DISTRICT
[NO. 01CR-2015-007] HONORABLE DAVID G. HENRY, JUDGE
Avery, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Adam Jackson, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Ron Antwon Harris was convicted by an Arkansas County jury of
one count of second-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced to
serve eight years' imprisonment in the Arkansas
Department of Correction. On appeal, he does not challenge
the sufficiency of the evidence. Instead, he contends that
the circuit court erred in denying his motion to suppress
evidence. For the following reasons, we affirm.
adduced at trial indicated that on December 29, 2014, the
victim, B.A., was staying at the home of Angela Alexander
when he was awakened by Harris. B.A.'s shorts were pulled
down, and he felt a "boy private part moving [in] his
behind." The next morning, he told his grandfather what
Harris had done to him. B.A.'s mother took him to the
hospital in Stuttgart and then to Arkansas Children's
Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock. At ACH, the nursing staff
obtained swabs and collected the clothes B.A. had been
wearing. The Arkansas State Crime Lab would later compare the
DNA from sperm cells found inside B.A.'s underwear to a
swab taken from Harris. The sperm cells obtained were
determined to be a match to Harris within all scientific
December 30, 2014, Haley Kizer, a forensic interviewer for
Crimes Against Children, a division of the Arkansas State
Police, met and interviewed BA. BA. told Kizer that Harris
had put his penis in B.A.'s buttocks. Kizer contacted
Detective Sergeant Eric Brown of the Stuttgart Police
Department to inform him of B.A.'s claim.
January 2, 2015, Officer Mario Lewis received a message from
police dispatch that Harris was at a park in Stuttgart and
wanted to turn himself in on a warrant. Officer Lewis, along
with Officer Cody Eason, went to the park to locate Harris,
but when they checked, there were no warrants out for
Harris's arrest. Detective Brown, who had been working on
the case and looking for Harris, overheard the call from
Officer Lewis checking for warrants and asked Officer Lewis
to tell Harris that he wanted to speak with him. Officer
Lewis relayed Detective Brown's message to Harris, who
agreed to go to the police station and give a statement.
Officer Lewis testified that he offered to give Harris a
ride, and Harris accepted.
police station, Detective Brown advised Harris of his
Miranda rights. Harris then signed an
acknowledgement. Detective Brown testified that Harris was
not initially forthcoming with his statement, but he
eventually agreed to talk to him about the allegations.
Harris asked Detective Brown to write the statement for him
since Harris could not write well. In the statement, Harris
admitted to pulling down B.A.'s pants, fondling his
buttocks, rubbing his penis on B.A., and then ejaculating on
him. Once the statement was complete, Detective Brown read
the statement back to Harris, who agreed with what was
written and signed the statement.
February 19, 2016, Harris filed a motion to suppress
evidence, contending that the statement he had given at the
police station should be suppressed because he had been taken
to the police station against his will in violation of
Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.3.
circuit court held a suppression hearing on Harris's
motion on February 22, 2016. At the hearing, the State argued
that transporting Harris to the police station was proper and
that Harris went with the police voluntarily. The State also
argued that it had probable cause to arrest Harris, which
would cure any deficiencies in a Rule 2.3 warning; thus
allowing the introduction of Harris's statement. The
circuit court held that the officers did not comply with the
requirements of Rule 2.3 when Harris was asked to go to the
police station for questioning but that there was probable
cause for an arrest based on information Detective Brown
received from the Department of Human Services and from the
victim's family. Accordingly, the circuit court denied
Harris's motion to suppress and permitted his statement
to be admitted at trial.
appeal, Harris argues that the circuit court erred by denying
his motion to suppress evidence; specifically, he maintains
that the court erred because law-enforcement officers failed
to properly advise him that he did not need to come to the
police station for questioning under Arkansas Rule of
Criminal Procedure 2.3 and that the officers did not have
probable cause to arrest him.
Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.3 provides the following:
If a law enforcement officer acting pursuant to this rule
requests any person to come to or remain at a police station,
prosecuting attorney's office or other similar place, he
shall take such steps as are reasonable to make clear that