FROM THE CRAWFORD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NOS. 17CR-14-341 AND
17CR-16-6] HONORABLE MICHAEL MEDLOCK, JUDGE
Lisa-Marie Norris, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Brooke Jackson Gasaway,
Ass't Att'y Gen., and Sharnea Diggs, Law Student
Admitted to Practice Pursuant to Rule XV of the Rules
Governing Admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court under the
Supervision of Darnisa Evans Johnson, Deputy Att'y Gen.,
F. VIRDEN, Judge
Justin Turner appeals the sentencing order entered by the
Crawford County Circuit Court on January 5, 2017, revoking
his probation and sentencing him to four years in the
Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC). On appeal, Turner
argues that there was insufficient evidence to support the
circuit court's finding that he committed the new offense
of first-degree battery and that he willfully failed to make
payments toward restitution. We affirm.
November 7, 2014, Turner pled guilty to one charge of
third-degree domestic battery, second offense, a Class D
felony (case number 17CR-14-341). He was sentenced to six
years' suspended imposition of sentence in the Community
Correction Center. Turner was ordered to pay fines, court
costs, booking fees, and monthly administrative fees. On
January 5, 2016, the State filed a petition to revoke
Turner's suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) due to
new charges of third-degree battery, second offense, and
second-degree criminal mischief (case number 17CR-16-6), and
due to Turner's failure to pay fines related to case
number 17CR-14-341. On May 19, 2016, Turner pled guilty to
the new charges. The court sentenced him to six years'
SIS conditioned on good behavior, and he was ordered to pay
fines, costs, and fees. The State withdrew its petition to
revoke Turner's SIS.
October 20, 2016, the State filed a petition to revoke
Turner's SIS regarding both prior cases based on a new
charge of first-degree battery and his willful failure to pay
fines relating to case number 17CR-16-6. After a hearing, the
circuit court revoked Turner's probation in both cases
and sentenced him to four years in the ADC. Turner filed a
timely notice of appeal.
first point on appeal, Turner argues that the State's
witness, victim Billy Joe Green, lacked credibility;
therefore, the circuit court clearly erred in determining
that he committed first-degree battery against Green based
solely on Green's testimony. We disagree and affirm.
court may revoke the suspension of sentence or probation at
any time before the expiration of the period of suspension of
sentence or probation. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-93-308 (Supp.
2017). Our standard of review in cases involving the
revocation of probation is well settled. The State must prove
the violation of a probation condition by a preponderance of
the evidence. McClain v. State, 2016 Ark.App. 205,
489 S.W.3d 179; Green v. State, 2015 Ark.App. 291,
461 S.W.3d 731. We will not reverse the circuit court's
findings unless they are clearly against the preponderance of
the evidence. Id. Evidence that would not support a
criminal conviction in the first instance may be enough to
revoke probation or a suspended sentence. Id.
Determining whether a preponderance of the evidence exists
turns on questions of witness credibility and the weight to
be given to the testimony. Id. This court defers to
the circuit court's determinations regarding the
credibility of witnesses and the weight to be given
testimony. Ware v. State, 2016 Ark.App. 284, at 2,
494 S.W.3d 438, 439.
person commits battery in the first degree if the person
knowingly causes serious physical injury to any person by
means of a deadly weapon. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-201(a)
hearing, Green's unrefuted testimony was that on or
around September 28, 2016, he was walking behind the alley of
Merle's Steakhouse in Alma when he passed by a car with
three people in it. Green identified Turner, a friend of his
father's, as one of the occupants of the vehicle. Green
stated that he heard someone yell at him, and he turned
around to confront the occupants of the car. When Green
arrived at the car, Turner asked to shake his hand. Green
explained that when he refused, the three people in the car
exited the vehicle and attacked him. Green stated that Turner
stabbed him in the chest, which resulted in a punctured lung
and a five-day hospital stay.
also testified that he was high on drugs on the night he was
attacked, that he believes his dog speaks to him, and that he
believes he has been diagnosed with some form of mental
illness. From the bench, the circuit court acknowledged that
it had considered Green's credibility, that it found
convincing evidence that Green had been stabbed by Turner,
and that the offense was serious. As we stated above, this
court defers to the circuit court's ability to weigh the
credibility of the witness, and we take into account that the
State must prove its case only by a preponderance of the
evidence-more likely than not that the crime occurred.
See McClain, supra; Ark. Code Ann. §
5-13-201(a). We affirm.
State need only prove that the appellant committed one
violation of the conditions in order to revoke
appellant's sentence. Peals v. State, 2015
Ark.App. 1, 453 S.W.3d 151. Because the circuit court did not
err in finding that Green's testimony was sufficient to
prove that Turner committed first-degree battery, we need ...