FROM THE SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, GREENWOOD DISTRICT,
[NO. 66GCR-17-12] HONORABLE JAMES O. COX, JUDGE
Standridge, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Kathryn Henry, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
M. GLOVER, JUDGE.
Sampson was convicted of three counts of Class D felony
aggravated assault with a firearm pursuant to Arkansas Code
Annotated section 5-13-204(a)(2) and sentenced to a total of
thirty months' imprisonment. On appeal, he argues (1) the
circuit court erred in not declaring a mistrial; (2) there
was insufficient evidence to support his convictions for
aggravated assault; (3) the State failed to disprove his
defense of justification; and (4) the third exception to the
contemporaneous-objection rule found in Wicks v.
State, 270 Ark. 781, 606 S.W.2d 366 (1980), is
applicable to three alleged trial errors-an erroneous jury
instruction was given, the officers exceeded their authority
in their encounter with Sampson in violation of Rule 2.2 of
the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure and violated his
Fourth Amendment rights, and the affirmative defense of
entrapment was supported by the evidence presented at trial.
October 13, 2016, Sebastian County Sheriff deputies Mark
Harris and Daniel Bazar, along with Mansfield Police
Department officer Brad Schmitt, were dispatched to
investigate a report of Sampson allegedly shooting his
neighbor's dog because the dog had attacked his rabbits.
The officers approached Sampson's residence to speak with
him about the incident and to ask him not to shoot toward his
neighbor's house. What occurred after the officers
arrived at Sampson's house is disputed. The officers
approached the house by knocking on the carport door instead
of the front door. The officers testified the lights went off
in the house after the first knock, but Sampson testified he
turned the lights on when he heard the knock. The
officers' testimony was that they shined their
flashlights at the door to illuminate the area for their
safety and did not turn them off when Sampson came to the
door and told them to do so. Sampson's testimony was that
he did not know who was at the door, even though the officers
had identified themselves; he stated he did not know if it
was an officer or a person who was lying about his identity.
According to the officers, Sampson was agitated and was
hiding the right side of his body behind the door frame;
because the officers could not see Sampson's hands, and
because there had been a report that Sampson had recently
been firing a gun, the officers asked Sampson to show them
his hands. The testimony of the officers was that Sampson
pulled his rifle out and swung it across all three of them,
placed it in his arms, and the officers then drew their
firearms. Sampson's testimony was that while he did
deliberately point his operable, loaded .22 rifle at the
three officers, the safety was on, and he pointed his gun at
them only after the officers drew their guns on him.
of the Evidence
Sampson challenges the sufficiency of the evidence in his
second and third points on appeal, preservation of an
appellant's right to be free from double jeopardy
requires a review of the sufficiency of the evidence before a
review of trial errors. Campbell v. State, 2017
Ark.App. 59, 512 S.W.3d 663. Our test for determining the
sufficiency of the evidence is whether the verdict is
supported by substantial evidence, direct or circumstantial.
Wells v. State, 2017 Ark.App. 174, 518 S.W.3d 106.
Evidence is substantial if it is of sufficient force and
character to compel reasonable minds to reach a conclusion
and pass beyond suspicion and conjecture. Id. On
appeal, the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to
the State; only evidence supporting the verdict is
considered. McCastle v. State, 2012 Ark.App. 162,
392 S.W.3d 162. Weighing the evidence, reconciling conflicts
in testimony, and assessing credibility are all matters
exclusively for the trier of fact. Holland v. State,
2017 Ark.App. 49, 510 S.W.3d 311.
appeal, Sampson argues there was insufficient evidence to
support his aggravated-assault convictions. A person commits
aggravated assault if, under circumstances manifesting
extreme indifference to the value of human life, he or she
purposely displays a firearm in such a manner that creates a
substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to
another person. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-204(a)(2) (Repl.
2013). Sampson further argues he was acting in self-defense,
and the provisions of section 5-13-204 do not apply to a
person acting in self-defense or the defense of a third
party. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-204(c)(2). Justification
becomes a defense when any evidence tending to support its
existence is offered, and once raised, it becomes an element
that must be disproved by the State beyond a reasonable
doubt. Green v. State, 2011 Ark.App. 700. The
circuit court instructed the jury on justification. Sampson
contends the State failed to disprove his justification
defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Neither of these
sufficiency arguments is preserved for appellate review.
jury trial, a motion for directed verdict shall be made at
the close of the State's evidence and at the close of all
the evidence; the motion shall state the specific grounds on
which it is being made. Ark. R. Crim. P. 33.1(a) (2017). The
failure to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence in the
manner required in subsection (a) constitutes a waiver of any
question pertaining to the sufficiency of the evidence to
support the verdict. Ark. R. Crim. P. 33.1(c).
close of the State's evidence, the following colloquy
Appellant's Attorney: Your Honor, I don't believe
the State has met its burden of proof in this case. We move
for a directed verdict based on lack of evidence. The
elements of the offense in this case are that the police
officers have to believe that they are in a position of
imminent threat of serious physical injury or death as a
result of my client pulling a firearm on them. And had that
been the case, then I believe under these circumstances
that they would have used deadly force against Mr. Sampson
had they thought they were going to be shot.
Prosecutor: Just to clarify, that's not what the law
says. The officers don't have to believe anything.
Appellant's Attorney: That they are under circumstances
manifesting substantial indifference to the value of ...