FROM THE CRITTENDEN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NOS. 18CR-11-652;
18CR-11-1315; 18CR-15-938] HONORABLE RALPH WILSON, JR., JUDGE
M. "Robby" Golden, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Amanda Jegley, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
F. WYNNE, Associate Justice.
Rashaun Coleman was sentenced to seventy-two months'
probation following his conviction for residential burglary
in case no. CR-2011-652. He was sentenced to 120 months'
suspended imposition of sentence following his conviction for
residential burglary in case no. CR-2011-1315. Coleman was
tried on a charge of aggravated robbery with a firearm
enhancement in 2016. During the 2016 trial, the trial court
revoked the probation and suspended imposition of sentence
imposed in the earlier cases. Coleman was convicted on the
charge of aggravated robbery and the firearm enhancement. He
was sentenced as a habitual offender to life imprisonment for
the aggravated robbery plus fifteen years' imprisonment
on the firearm enhancement. He was sentenced to 240
months' imprisonment on each revocation. Coleman now
appeals from his convictions and the revocations. On appeal,
he makes the following arguments regarding his convictions:
(1) the trial court erred in denying his motion in limine
regarding the treatment of his two prior convictions for
residential burglary as violent for purposes of sentencing
under the habitual-offender statute; (2) the trial court
erred in denying his motion to suppress his statement; and
(3) the trial court erred in denying his motion in limine to
exclude certain testimony and admitting hearsay. Because
there is merit in appellant's second argument, we reverse
and remand as to the aggravated-robbery conviction and the
firearm enhancement. Appellant raises no allegation of error
as to the revocations. Accordingly, we affirm the
night of September 14, 2015, two men wearing masks robbed a
Dollar General store in Marion, taking approximately $700 in
cash. One of the men, who was wearing a
green-and-white-striped shirt, had a gun and hit the
assistant manager in the head during the robbery. Witnesses
were unable to identify the perpetrators, apart from being
able to describe them as African-American males. Officers
recovered a one-dollar bill, a ten-dollar bill, a cash-out
receipt from the store, and a black cash drawer in a nearby
beanfield. Officers also located a striped shirt matching the
one worn by one of the perpetrators and a black LG cell phone
approximately ten feet from the shirt that came back as
belonging to appellant. One officer noticed suspicious
behavior by someone driving a car near the store. When he
encountered the driver, who was identified as Nicola Walters,
and asked her why she was there, she eventually stated that
she was there to pick up appellant. While she was speaking to
the officers, Walters received a phone call from a male who
asked if she had been let go yet. When she replied that she
had not, the caller hung up.
was arrested on November 4, 2015, and the next day was
interviewed by Detective Freddy Williams with the Marion
Police Department. Appellant indicated several times during
the interview that he no longer wished to speak to Detective
Williams. The interview continued, and appellant eventually
confessed his involvement in the robbery. Prior to trial,
appellant moved to suppress his statement to Detective
Williams on the basis that it had been obtained in violation
of his right against self-incrimination. The trial court
denied the motion. Appellant moved to bar the State from
soliciting testimony regarding the statements made by Nicola
Walters, contending that they were inadmissible hearsay. That
motion was denied. Finally, appellant moved to prevent his
prior convictions for residential burglary from being treated
as violent offenses for the purposes of habitual-offender
sentencing, arguing that applying the prior convictions in
that manner was prohibited because the statutory amendment
classifying the offense of residential burglary as violent
for habitual-offender purposes was passed after his
convictions for residential burglary. The trial court denied
this motion as well. Appellant was tried, convicted, and
sentenced as described above. This appeal followed.
argues that the trial court erred by denying his motion to
suppress his statement to Detective Williams because it was
obtained in violation of his Fifth Amendment right to remain
silent and not incriminate himself. Upon review of a trial
court's denial of a motion to suppress, we make an
independent determination based on the totality of the
circumstances; we view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the appellee, and we reverse the trial
court's ruling only if it is clearly erroneous or against
the preponderance of the evidence. Whalen v. State,
2016 Ark. 343, at 4-5, 500 S.W.3d 710, 713 (2016).
Whitaker v. State, 348 Ark. 90, 95, 71 S.W.3d 567,
570-71 (2002), we set out the applicable law on this issue as
A statement made while an accused is in custody is
presumptively involuntary, and the burden is on the State to
prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a custodial
statement was given voluntarily and was knowingly and
intelligently made. Lacy v. State, [345 Ark. 63');">345 Ark. 63, 44
S.W.3d 296; Smith v. State, 334 Ark. 190, 974 S.W.2d
427 (1998). A defendant may cut off questioning at any time
by unequivocally invoking his right to remain silent.
Michigan v. Mosley, 423 U.S. 96, 96 S.Ct. 321, 46
L.Ed.2d 313 (1975). When the right to remain silent is
invoked, it must be "scrupulously honored."
Miranda [v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 479
(1966)]; Mosley, 423 U.S. at 103; Hatley v.
State, 289 Ark. 130, 133, 709 S.W.2d 812, 814 (1986).
Our Criminal Rules follow in this mold and provide that a
police officer shall not question an arrested person if that
person indicates "in any manner" that he does not
wish to be questioned. Ark. R. Crim. P. 4.5.
A defendant may also waive an invocation of her right to
silence. Bunch v. State, 346 Ark. 33, 57 S.W.3d 124
(2001). Specifically, answering questions following a
statement that attempts to invoke the right to remain silent
may waive that right by implication. Jones v. State,
344 Ark. 682, 42 S.W.3d 536 (2001); Bowen v. State,
322 Ark. 483, 911 S.W.2d 555 (1995); Standridge v.
State, 329 Ark. 473, 951 S.W.2d 299 (1997). The accused
may change her mind and decide to talk to law enforcement
officials. Willett v. State, 322 Ark. 613, 911
S.W.2d 937 (1995) (citing Michigan v. Jackson, 475
U.S. 625 (1986); Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477
(1981); Bussard v. State, 295 Ark. 72, 747 S.W.2d 71
(1988); Coble v. State, 274 Ark. 134, 624 S.W.2d 421
recording of appellant's interview with Detective
Williams was divided into two parts.
first part of the interview took place in an interview room
and was captured on video. During this first part of the
interview, the following relevant exchanges took place:
Appellant: -- I got a question.
Detective Williams: Sure, man, what's up?
Appellant: I don't [phonetic] want to talk to you
Detective Williams: Uh-huh (affirmative response).
Appellant: -- it's just, is that a recorder or camera