FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 17CR-14-489]
HONORABLE GARY COTTRELL, JUDGE
D. Watson, Attorney at Law PLLC, by: Brett D. Watson, for
J. GLADWIN, Judge
no-merit appeal is from the revocation of appellant Kenneth
Burris's probation and suspended imposition of sentence
for which he was sentenced to ten years in the Arkansas
Department of Correction (ADC) and ten additional years'
suspended imposition of sentence. Pursuant to Anders v.
California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), and Rule 4-3(k) (2016)
of the Rules of the Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of
Appeals, Burris's counsel has filed a motion to withdraw
on the basis that the appeal is wholly without merit.
Counsel's motion was accompanied by a brief referring to
everything in the record that might arguably support an
appeal, including a list of all rulings adverse to Burris
made by the circuit court on all objections, motions, and
requests made by either party, with an explanation as to why
each adverse ruling is not a meritorious ground for reversal.
The clerk of this court furnished Burris with a copy of his
counsel's brief and notified him of his right to file pro
se points; Burris did not file any points.
request to withdraw on the ground that the appeal is wholly
without merit shall be accompanied by a brief including an
abstract and addendum. Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 4-3(k)(1). The brief
shall contain an argument section that consists of a list of
all rulings adverse to the defendant made by the circuit
court on all objections, motions, and requests made by either
party with an explanation as to why each adverse ruling is
not a meritorious ground for reversal. Id.; see
also Eads v. State, 74 Ark.App. 363, 47 S.W.3d 918
(2001). This framework ensures that indigents are afforded
their constitutional rights. Campbell v. State, 74
Ark.App. 277, 47 S.W.3d 915 (2001). In furtherance of the
goal of protecting these constitutional rights, it is the
duty of both counsel and this court to perform a full
examination of the proceedings as a whole to decide if an
appeal would be wholly frivolous. See id.
pleaded guilty in April 2015 to two counts of second-degree
sexual assault. He was sentenced to five years' probation
on one count and fifteen years' suspended imposition of
sentence on the other, along with various conditions. The
State petitioned to revoke probation and the suspended
imposition of sentence on April 26, 2016, alleging that
Burris hadviolated his conditions by contacting one of the
victims and not paying fines.
revocation hearing, Lisa Whetstine, the Crawford County fines
and restitution coordinator, testified that Burris, during
the preceding year, had made only one complete monthly
payment and one partial payment. A victim and her mother
testified that Burris had made contact with the victim three
to five times. The mother testified that Burris did not try
to leave during some of those contacts. Burris and his
fiancée testified that any contact was involuntary and
that Burris told the victim to get away. Burris also
testified that he made payments as he was able but conceded
that he had not made the required payments.
the State's witnesses more credible, the circuit court
ruled that the State had proved by a preponderance of the
evidence that Burris inexcusably violated both alleged
conditions. The circuit court sentenced him to ten years in
the ADC and ten more years' suspended imposition of
sentence pursuant to a sentencing order entered on August 31,
2016. Burris filed a timely notice of appeal on September 8,
Discussion of Adverse Rulings
are no nonfrivolous issues that support an appeal in this
case. In compliance with the directive in Anders,
supra, and Rule 4-3(k)(1), counsel for Burris has
thoroughly examined the circuit court record of this
proceeding but found no error that would support an appeal.
As required by Rule 4-3(k), the reasons that the adverse
rulings provide no meritorious grounds for appeal are
discussed in Counsel's brief. Counsel indicates that
there were four unfavorable rulings for Burris: the
revocation, a sustaining of the State's hearsay
objection, an overruled objection, and a motion for
continuance that was not ruled upon.
is no meritorious ground to argue that the circuit court
clearly erred in finding that the State proved by a
preponderance of the evidence that Burris violated the
conditions. The State argued that Burris had violated the
conditions in two ways, either one of which was enough to