FROM THE ASHLEY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 02CR-17-18]
HONORABLE SAM POPE, JUDGE
Law Office, by: Gary W. Potts, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: David L. Eanes, Jr., Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
BRANDON J. HARRISON, JUDGE.
Steen appeals his conviction for simultaneous possession of
drugs and firearms, arguing that the circuit court erred in
denying his motion for directed verdict. We hold that
Steen's argument is not preserved and affirm.
criminal information filed 23 January 2017, Steen was charged
with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine),
possession of drug paraphernalia, and simultaneous possession
of drugs and firearms. At a jury trial, Steen represented himself
with standby defense counsel. At the close of the State's
case, counsel and Steen made the following motions for
Counsel: Mr. Steen is asking that I make the motions for him,
Your Honor. Your Honor, first of all with respect to the
issue of the possession of meth, the State is required to
prove that on November 28th, 2016, Mr. Steen possessed over
two grams of meth. Mr. Steen argues that the State has failed
to make a prima facie case that over two grams of meth was
recovered from his person or from his belongings and the
State has failed to make a prima facie case on that.
Court: Okay. Well, the testimony, if believed, of the
State's witnesses establishes that over two grams of
meth was located inside a bag inside of a truck that Mr.
Steen was driving and he was stopped in, so the motion is
Counsel: Let me back up a little bit. My first motion
goes to the first two counts of simultaneous possession of
drugs and firearms and possession of a controlled substance.
moved for a directed verdict on the
possession-of-drug-paraphernalia charge, and the State
nolle prossed that charge.]
That takes care of that motion, Your Honor. That's
all the motions I have.
Steen: Your Honor?
The Court: Yes.
Steen: Can I file another motion, please?
The Court: What motion do you want to make, Mr. Steen?
Steen: My motion is that my domicile is where I live on the
road. I have a right to protect that. That's why the
weapon or the revolver was inside my domicile. I have a
Second Amendment constitutional right to bear arms while on-
The Court: Well, you may do so. . . . But what does that
mean? Does it mean you can violate the statutory law in doing
so? I don't think it does. Reasonable restrictions can be
put on possession of firearms by a state. One of the
restrictions that the State of Arkansas has said is that you
can't simultaneously possession [sic] a firearm with the
drugs or controlled substances contrary to, in violation of
certain statutes, which includes possession of
methamphetamine. The evidence, if I look at it most favorable
to the State, is that these things were in close proximity in
the same bag. So I think the motion has to be denied for that
Steen: Even though they were in two separate bags?
The Court: Well, that's-the evidence is-That may be in
dispute. I haven't heard any testimony from you saying
they were in two bags. I've heard testimony from ...