FROM THE DALLAS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 20CR-16-2]
HONORABLE ROBIN CARROLL, JUDGE
Terrence Cain and Jimmy C. Morris, Jr., for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Christian Harris, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
Rabion appeals his August 10, 2016 convictions for two counts
of negligent homicide, arguing that the Dallas County Circuit
Court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict
based on insufficient evidence of his intoxication at the
time of the accident. We affirm.
November 1, 2015, Rabion was driving his car on Arkansas
Highway 128 between Sparkman and Holly Springs when he
swerved over the center line and caused a head-on collision
with Edlon Thompson. Ashley Webb was a passenger in
Thompson's car. Both Webb and Thompson died of injuries
they sustained from the collision.
Ramsey was driving toward Sparkman when she came upon the
accident. She stopped to check on the occupants of the
vehicles. She went to the first car, determined the driver
and passenger were dead, and returned to her car to call 911.
Daylight saving time was to end November 1, 2015, and she
testified that, "with the time change, " it was
between 1:00 and 1:20 in the morning. After she made the call, she
heard a noise coming from the other car, which was flipped
over in the ditch next to the road. A man she later
identified as Rabion crawled out of the car, walked over to
Ramsey, and asked her "what the fuck happened and where
the fuck was he." She told him he'd been in a wreck
in between Sparkman and Bearden. She testified that Rabion
then "turned and started walking toward Bearden."
Ramsey called 911 again to report her encounter with Rabion.
Law enforcement arrived shortly thereafter and began to
Devonte Smith, Rabion's stepnephew, had just dropped a
relative off at home when he saw Rabion walk out of the
woods. Smith testified that Rabion was walking as if he was
in a lot of pain. Smith let Rabion in his car and Rabion
immediately fell asleep, so Smith drove Rabion to Cindy
Beck's house. Beck is Smith's mom and Rabion's
stepsister. Smith helped Rabion in the house and onto the
couch and Rabion fell back asleep.
and Smith both testified that on the afternoon leading up to
the wreck, Beck had been having a family get-together at her
house. They both testified that they saw Rabion drinking beer
that afternoon. From Beck's house, some of the adults had
gone on to a nightclub. Beck testified that she saw Rabion
there and at some point he had his head down on a table as if
he were sleeping. Beck said that she and her friends left the
nightclub sometime after Rabion did and started driving home
toward Bearden along Highway 128. She came upon the accident
after the police had cordoned off both lanes. An officer told
her Rabion's identification had been found at the scene,
and she turned around to return home on a different route.
When Beck arrived home, she said that Rabion was still asleep
on her couch. She woke him up and told him about the accident
and how the police had found his identification at the scene.
Rabion said he did not remember any accident. Beck called the
police. Both Smith and Beck testified that they had not seen
Rabion drink any time after the accident and before the
from the Dallas County Sheriffs Office arrived, placed Rabion
under arrest, and transported him to their office. Once
there, an officer administered a breath test to measure
Rabion's blood-alcohol concentration. The test did not
yield a usable sample, so Rabion was then transported to the
Dallas County Medical Center for a blood test. At 5:10 a.m.,
Rabion's blood-alcohol concentration was .117. An
accident-reconstruction officer with the Arkansas State
Police testified that he investigated the accident and
concluded that Rabion's car had crossed the center line
and struck Thompson's vehicle head-on.
January 12, 2016, the State filed a felony information
charging Rabion with two counts of negligent homicide,
failure to stop after an accident resulting in injury or
death, driving with an invalid license, and driving while
intoxicated. On May 23, 2016, the State filed an amended
information to add a habitual-offender count.
jury trial took place on August 8 and August 9, 2016. A jury
found him guilty of each offense charged in the amended
information and recommended a sentence of forty years'
imprisonment and a fine of $10, 000 for each count of
negligent homicide, and a sentence of fifteen years'
imprisonment and a fine of $10, 000 for failing to stop after
an accident resulting in injury or death.
jury recommended that he serve the sentences consecutively,
which resulted in a total of ninety-five years'
imprisonment and fines totaling $30, 000. The circuit court
ordered that Rabion serve his sentences for driving with an
invalid license and driving while intoxicated concurrently
with his sentences for his felony convictions. The circuit
court entered the sentencing order on August 10, 2016, and
Rabion filed a timely notice of appeal on August 31, 2016.
first argues that the State did not prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident,
and thus the circuit court should have granted his motion for
a directed verdict on the negligent-homicide charges. A
motion for a directed verdict is a challenge to the
sufficiency of the evidence. Witcher v. State, 2010
Ark. 197, at 1, 362 S.W.3d 321, 322. When reviewing a
challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, this court
assesses the evidence in the light most favorable to the
State and considers only the evidence that supports the
verdict. Gillard v. State,366 Ark. 217, 221, 234
S.W.3d 310, 313 (2006). A conviction will be affirmed if
substantial evidence exists in the record to support it.
Tillman v. State,364 Ark. 143, 146, 217 S.W.3d 772,