FROM THE DESHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, ARKANSAS CITY DISTRICT
[NO. 21ACR-15-47] HONORABLE DON GLOVER, JUDGE
F. Gibson, Jr., for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Brad Newman, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
BRANDON J. HARRISON, JUDGE.
Mosby was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and
now appeals, arguing that the circuit court erred in (1)
denying his motion for directed verdict, (2) denying his
motion to suppress, (3) not allowing the testimony of Dr.
Joseph Drumm at the suppression hearing or at trial, and (4)
finding that certain statements made to Mosby by a police
officer were inadmissible hearsay. We affirm.
was charged with two counts of capital murder for the deaths
of Michael Reeves and Kentarrious Madden. Generally, the
State alleged that on 11 June 2015, Mosby shot Reeves, who
had recently started dating Mosby's ex-girlfriend, and
Reeves's friend, Madden, and then concealed the bodies in
four-day jury trial in August 2016, Mosby was convicted of
two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to an
aggregate term of forty-five years' imprisonment. Mosby
filed a timely notice of appeal from his convictions.
Specific facts related to each point on appeal will be
Sufficiency of the Evidence
court treats a motion for directed verdict as a challenge to
the sufficiency of the evidence. See Tubbs v. State,
370 Ark. 47, 257 S.W.3d 47 (2007). In reviewing a challenge
to the sufficiency of the evidence, this court determines
whether the verdict is supported by substantial evidence,
direct or circumstantial. Id. Substantial evidence
is evidence forceful enough to compel a conclusion one way or
the other beyond suspicion or conjecture. Id. This
court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the
verdict, and only evidence supporting the verdict will be
considered. Id. The credibility of witnesses is an
issue for the jury and not the court. Morgan v.
State, 2009 Ark. 257, 308 S.W.3d 147. The trier of fact
is free to believe all or part of any witness's testimony
and may resolve questions of conflicting testimony and
inconsistent evidence. Id.
trial, the State presented the following evidence in support
of the verdict:
Ward, Reeves's cousin, testified that he knew Mosby from
playing basketball but did not know him very well. Ward said
that Reeves began dating Korea Myles, Mosby's girlfriend,
in June 2015, and that Mosby confronted him (Ward) about it.
In a June 8 telephone conversation, Mosby told Ward that
"[h]e wasn't gonna let a young n**** take his old
Myles testified that in June 2015, she and Mosby had been
together almost eight years and have two children together.
Myles had begun dating Reeves in April 2015, and she moved
out of Mosby's home in early June. From late May 2015
until approximately June 10, Myles and Mosby exchanged many
text messages in which Mosby expressed his displeasure with
11, Myles listened to a telephone conversation between Reeves
and Mosby that Reeves had put on speaker; in that
conversation, Mosby asked Reeves to meet him at an apartment
complex near his (Mosby's) house. Myles advised Reeves
not to go, but Reeves said that he would go and that he and
Mosby had met twice before without incident. Later that
afternoon, Myles was unable to reach Reeves on his cell
phone. Myles called Mosby and planned to stop by his house,
but he told her to "give him a little while." She
went to his house anyway, but he refused to let her enter the
house. Approximately two hours later, Myles successfully
entered the home and saw that the carpet in the house had
been ripped up and piled in the kitchen.
left the home to pick up her children and intended to return
to the home, but she was stopped by Officer Ricky Cantrell
with the Dumas Police Department. Myles asked Cantrell to go
to Mosby's house and check things out because Mosby had
been "acting weird." Myles advised Cantrell to
"check the carpet."
Rosegrant, a criminal investigator with the Arkansas State
Police, testified that the Dumas Police Department requested
his assistance with their investigation in the early morning
hours of June 12 and that he interviewed Mosby later that
morning. Rosegrant was present when another officer explained
to Mosby his Miranda rights, and the entire
interview was video and audio recorded. The State then played
the video of the officers' interview with Mosby in which
he explained that he had met Reeves and Madden near his home
and that the three men returned to his home to talk. After
approximately thirty minutes, "[a]ll the sudden tempers
flared, " and Madden charged toward him. Mosby grabbed a
gun from under a pillow on his loveseat, and he and Madden
began "tussling." While they were fighting, the gun
went off and Reeves was shot. A second shot hit Madden in the
stomach, and Mosby fired a third shot toward Madden as he was
falling. According to Mosby, he then went into "straight
panic mode." He disposed of his gun in a trash bag and
put it in the bed of a truck parked at a nearby Dollar
General, and he wrapped the bodies in sheets, tied them with
extension cords, and pulled up all the carpet and piled it on
top of the bodies.
conclusion of the video, Rosegrant continued his testimony
and said that on August 4, he was advised by Mosby's
attorney that Mosby's brother, Camdon Mosby, was in
possession of the firearm used in the murders. Rosegrant met
with Camdon and recovered the firearm the next day.
Cobbs, Mosby's older brother, testified that on June 11,
he had stopped by Mosby's house in the early evening and
saw that all the carpet had been pulled up. Mosby told him
that he (Mosby) was remodeling. Later that evening,
Cobbs's son informed him of several police cars at
Mosby's residence, so Cobbs returned to Mosby's
house. Cobbs saw Officer Ricky Cantrell, who was a good
friend of his, and Cantrell told Cobbs that Mosby was not
talking to anyone and asked Cobbs, "Do you think you can
talk to him and see what's going on?" According to
Cobbs, "So we went to the side, me and Ricky. I said,
'Brother, whatever's going on, tell him. And
that's when he said, 'It was two inside.'"
Cobbs said he understood that to mean that there were two
bodies inside the house. Mosby was then taken into custody.
Mosby, Mosby's younger brother, testified that on the
afternoon of June 11, Mosby called him and said that he
needed a truck. When Camdon arrived later that afternoon, a
truck was there, and Mosby told him (Camdon) that there were
two dead bodies in the house. Camdon also said that Mosby had
given him a gun wrapped in a plastic bag that evening and
that he (Camdon) had taken the gun home and "kept it put
up" until giving it to Rosegrant. Camdon also explained
that on June 11, he had called Officer Ricky Cantrell at
Mosby's request because of the fighting between Mosby and
Blevins, an investigator with the Dumas Police Department,
testified that he searched Mosby's house in the
late-night hours of June 11 and that he found the bodies of
Reeves and Madden in the kitchen. According to Blevins, the
bodies were wrapped in sheets, tied with extension cords, and
concealed under a pile of carpet.
the State rested, Mosby moved for a directed verdict as
There is insufficient evidence from which the jury could
conclude that Vernyell Mosby is the one who committed these
murders. The evidence appears that they were the result of a
homicide. That they occurred in Vernyell's home, but
there is no physical evidence connecting him to the deaths of
these two young men. No fingerprints on a weapon, no
gunpowder residue on ...