FROM THE FAULKNER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 23CR-15-331]
HONORABLE CHARLES E. CLAWSON, JR., JUDGE
Kezhaya Law, by: Matthew A. Kezhaya, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Brooke Jackson Gasaway,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge
Cummings was convicted of multiple felonies and now appeals,
arguing that the circuit court erred in (1) denying his
motion to suppress his statement to police, and (2) denying
his request to reduce his $1 million bond. We affirm.
felony information filed 5 May 2015, Cummings was charged
with two counts of attempted capital murder; simultaneous
possession of drugs and a firearm; possession of a firearm by
certain persons; possession of a controlled substance
Schedule I/II, methamphetamine or cocaine; possession of drug
paraphernalia; fleeing; resisting arrest; and
littering. The information was later amended to
include a firearm enhancement on the attempted capital-murder
charges. A jury found Cummings guilty on all charges, and he
was sentenced to an aggregate term of 160 years'
imprisonment. Specific facts pertinent to the points on
appeal will be discussed below.
Motion to Suppress
May 2015, Cummings was the passenger in a Ford Mustang that
was involved in a high-speed chase with police. During the
chase, Cummings fired a gun toward the police cars in pursuit
and struck two of the police cars. When the Mustang was
finally stopped, Cummings fled on foot but "fell on his
face" while running and was thereafter apprehended by
police. Cummings resisted arrest but was eventually
handcuffed and taken into custody. He was examined at the
hospital, cleared of injuries, and taken to the police
station, where, after having waived his Miranda
rights, he gave a statement to police. In that statement,
Cummings admitted shooting at the police officers and also
told officers where to find a bag of narcotics that he had
thrown from the car during the pursuit.
December 2015, Cummings filed a motion to suppress the
statement he gave to police, asserting that he
gave an incustodial statement at the police station, after
having been examined for a head injury suffered while taken
into custody and while not fully aware of circumstances of
the interrogation, including signing forms or consents; any
statement made by Defendant while in custody was not willful
and in violation of Miranda.
circuit court held a motion hearing on 4 January 2016.
Officer Billy Kenny testified that he was present when
Cummings was placed under arrest and during his later
interrogation. Kenny said that he reviewed the
Miranda-rights form with Cummings and that he
appeared to understand his rights and was answering questions
appropriately. Kenny denied threatening or coercing Cummings
and stated that Cummings signed the Miranda form
voluntarily. Kenny explained that he had read Cummings his
rights on camera but that a portion of the thirty-minute
interview video, approximately the first sixteen minutes, was
lost. On cross-examination, Kenny denied any knowledge of
Cummings being struck in the head at the time of his arrest.
On redirect, Kenny confirmed that Cummings had been treated
at the hospital and released with no injuries for interview
Joe Flack testified that he participated in Cummings's
interview and that Cummings was not threatened or coerced
into giving a statement. Flack said that Cummings understood
the questions asked of him and responded appropriately
"for the most part" but that "[h]e seemed to
get a little confused a few times, kind of mumble a few
things." Flack explained that Cummings talked about
firing a gun to "get law enforcement off him" and
told police about throwing drugs, which were in a computer
case, out of the vehicle. Flack said that he later located
the computer case and found three grams of a crystalline
substance (later identified as methamphetamine) inside it.
testified that when he was arrested, he was "stomped on
a pretty little bit, " meaning that there were two
officers sitting on his back, one officer standing on his
arm, and three officers kicking him in the face,
"bouncing [his] head back and forth." The last
thing he remembered was an officer in a tactical vest kicking
him in the face, then he woke up in the hospital. He claimed
that the officers "scuffled [him] up a bit more" in
the hospital. He said that he was later at the police
station, which he "vaguely" remembered. Cummings
first testified that he signed whatever they put in front of
him without reading it; he later said that he did not
"really" remember signing the Miranda
form, although he admitted that it was his
"scribble" on the signature line.
cross-examination, Cummings confirmed that he had been
arrested nineteen times and that he had Miranda
rights read to him "a lot of times." He denied,
however, ever signing a Miranda-rights form before
because he had never been arrested for a "serious
charge." Cummings also denied remembering much of the
high-speed chase because he had "been up for a couple of
days" and "was on a lot of drugs, "
specifically methamphetamine. He said that he did not
remember telling the police about shooting the gun or where
he threw the ...