FROM THE FAULKNER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 23CR-15-446]
HONORABLE CHARLES E. CLAWSON, JR., JUDGE
& Brasuell, PLLC, by: Toney B. Brasuell, for appellant.
KENNETH S. HIXSON, Judge
Mark Douglas Griffin appeals after he was convicted by the
Faulkner County Circuit Court of robbery, theft of property
less than $1000, and interference with emergency
communication in the second degree and sentenced to serve a
total of 180 months in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Appellant's attorney has filed a no-merit brief and a
motion to withdraw as counsel pursuant to Arkansas Supreme
Court Rule 4-3(k) (2016) and Anders v. California,
386 U.S. 738 (1967), asserting that this appeal is wholly
without merit. The motion is accompanied by an abstract and
addendum of the proceedings below, alleged to include all
objections and motions decided adversely to appellant, and a
brief in which counsel explains why there is nothing in the
record that would support an appeal. The clerk of this court
mailed a copy of counsel's motion and brief to
appellant's last-known address informing him of his right
to file pro se points for reversal; however, he has not done
so. Consequently, the attorney
general has not filed a brief in response. We grant
counsel's motion to withdraw and affirm the convictions.
was arrested after an incident that occurred at Wal-Mart on
June 9, 2015. Appellant was observed on camera taking several
items while in the store. When he was approached by two
asset-protection associates, he became aggressive.
Eventually, appellant was arrested by law enforcement.
was charged by information with robbery, a Class B felony;
theft of property less than $1000, a Class A misdemeanor;
interference with emergency communication in the second
degree, a Class B misdemeanor; and habitual offender.
Appellant's bond was set at $75, 000. Appellant requested
that his bond be reduced four separate times prior to trial;
however, the trial court denied each request. A bench trial
was held on June 24, 2016.
Prewitt, an asset-protection associate, testified that he had
observed appellant on camera take several movies and stuff
them into two sacks that he had in his pocket. He also had
seen appellant take two lighters off an end cap and conceal
them in his pocket. After appellant walked past the last
point of sale in the Garden Center, Prewitt and another
asset-protection associate, Corey Garretson, approached
appellant and identified themselves. Prewitt testified that,
at that point, appellant had put the movies down and charged
at them. Appellant later ended up falling, hitting a pole,
and "busting his eye open." However, Prewitt
explained that appellant had gotten up and charged again at
Garretson, knocking Garretson down to the ground. Afterward,
Officer Matthew Boyd arrived at the scene and placed
appellant in handcuffs. Prewitt estimated that appellant had
taken $300 in property.
testified that he was with Prewitt the day of the incident
observing appellant on the store cameras. He explained that
he had observed appellant take several items. Garretson
further explained that he had been on the phone with the
Conway Police Department when Prewitt and he approached
appellant. Garretson testified that he had told the police
dispatcher that appellant was trying to flee and that
appellant was pushing him. At one point, appellant had
grabbed his phone. However, Garretson was able to
subsequently get his phone back, but appellant had pushed
Garretson backwards to the ground. Appellant was eventually
arrested by Officer Boyd outside the door.
Boyd testified that he had heard the dispatcher call over the
radio for an officer to assist in a suspected shoplifting
incident. Officer Boyd explained that he had observed
appellant push Garretson and run approximately twenty to
thirty feet away from the door. Officer Boyd indicated that
he had pursued appellant and had been able to take him into
Griffin, appellant's wife, testified on appellant's
behalf. She testified that appellant had experienced a
traumatic-brain injury in the past and that his short-term
memory and balance were impacted. She testified that
appellant was not frequently left on his own because she
"was scared he was going to do something stupid."
She further testified that he would forget where he was.
all evidence was presented, the trial court found appellant
guilty of robbery, theft of property less than $1000, and
interference with emergency communication in the second
degree and sentenced him to serve a total of 180 months in
the Arkansas Department of Correction. This appeal followed.
counsel explains that the only adverse rulings in this case
were the convictions themselves and the denials from the
requests for bond reduction. It is well settled that this
court strictly construes Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure
33.1 (2016). Grube v. State, 2010 Ark. 171, 368
S.W.3d 58. In order to challenge the sufficiency of the
evidence on appeal from a bench trial, Arkansas Rule of
Criminal Procedure 33.1(b) requires that an appellant move
for a dismissal at the close of all the evidence, stating the
specific grounds therefor. McCall v. State, 2016
Ark.App. 300, 495 S.W.3d 91. A defendant's failure to
challenge the sufficiency of the evidence at the time and in
the manner specified in Rule 33.1(b) constitutes a waiver of
any question pertaining to the sufficiency of the evidence to
support the judgment. Ark. R. Crim. P. 33.1(c); Hudson v.
State, 2014 Ark.App. 305. Because appellant failed to
move for dismissal at the close of all evidence at trial, he
has waived any argument pertaining to the sufficiency of the
evidence to support his convictions. Therefore, any appeal
challenging the sufficiency of the evidence would be wholly
appellant made four separate pretrial requests for a bond
reduction pending trial. However, the trial court denied each
request, and there would be no merit to an appeal from those
adverse rulings. Because we affirm appellant's
convictions, the question of his pretrial bond is moot, and
this court does not decide moot issues. Davis v.
State, 350 Ark. 22, 86 S.W.3d 872 (2002). Therefore, an
appeal from those rulings would be wholly without merit.
Thus, from our review of the record and the brief presented,
we find that counsel has complied with the requirements of