FROM THE GRANT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 27CR-15-76]
HONORABLE CHRIS E WILLIAMS, JUDGE
C Wilson, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Rachel Kemp, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
A Grant County jury convicted appellant Ronnie Martinez for
the offenses of battery in the first degree, possession of a
firearm by certain persons, and three counts of aggravated
assault. He also received a sentence enhancement for
employing a firearm as a means of committing a felony.
Martinez was sentenced to a total of forty-five years in the
Arkansas Department of Correction. On appeal, Martinez
contends that sufficient evidence did not support his
convictions. We affirm.
October 22, 2015, the Grant County Sheriff's Department
arrived at Danny Myers's place of business in response to
a report of shots fired with an active shooter on scene.
Deputy Matt Bennett testified that when he initially pulled
up, Martinez was holding a weapon. Bennett explained that as
he pulled up to stop Martinez, Martinez threw the gun down
and fell to the ground. Consequently, Martinez was taken into
custody and charged by information.
Martinez was found fit to proceed to trial, a jury trial was
conducted on November 4, 2016. The testimony established that
Martinez worked for Danny Myers and that Martinez lived in a
room above Myers's building. On the morning of October
22, 2015, Martinez entered the office part of the building
where Myers, Helen Strong, and her husband, Alvin West, were
gathered, Martinez said, "I'm going to kill
y'all." He started shooting at the three
individuals. A bullet grazed Myers's head, and the other
two were shot at but were not hit with a bullet. Myers
testified that the gunshot to his head knocked him to the
ground, but he was able to crawl out the front door of the
business on his knees. Myers's injury required him to
undergo surgery, and as of the date of the trial, his injury
was still causing him problems.
testified that he had an argument with Martinez about two
months before this incident when Martinez threatened to kill
West's wife. West's testimony also corroborated
Myers's testimony that Martinez came in and said,
"I'm going to kill y'all." West stated that
he "went down" and escaped out the door with Myers.
He explained that had he not gone down, he would have been
shot in the chest.
Neal testified that he was working for Myers on the morning
of the incident. He explained that he came in to the building
through a side door where he saw the whole confrontation.
Neal testified that he came around the corner, and that
Martinez shot at him, too. West and Strong testified that
they heard Martinez make a comment such as "I'll
kill you, too, " referring to Neal.
a recorded interview that was played for the jury, Martinez
said he had been working with Myers for about a year and a
half. He explained that since he had been working there and
living above the shop, he believed someone was stealing his
food or putting snot in it.
the State rested, Martinez moved for a directed verdict. The
circuit court denied the motion. Martinez did not call any
witness and renewed his directed-verdict motion. The circuit
court denied that motion as well, and he was convicted of the
crimes for which he was charged. He now timely appeals.
appeal, a motion for directed verdict is treated as a
challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. See
Reynolds v. State, 2016 Ark. 214, at 3, 492 S.W.3d 491,
494. This court views the evidence in the light most
favorable to the State and affirms if there is substantial
evidence to support the verdict. Id. Substantial
evidence is that which is of sufficient force and character
that it will, with reasonable certainty, compel a conclusion
one way or the other, without resorting to speculation or
conjecture. Id. This court does not weigh the
evidence presented at trial or assess the credibility of the
witnesses, because those are matters for the fact-finder.
Id. 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. Only evidence supporting the verdict will be
considered. Leaks v. State, 345 Ark. 182, 185, 45
S.W.3d 363, 365 (2001).
appeal, Martinez contends that the evidence adduced at trial
was insufficient to convict him of first-degree battery and
aggravated assault. He specifically argues that the State
failed to prove that he acted purposely with respect to both
person commits battery in the first degree if, with the
purpose of causing physical injury to another person, the
person causes physical injury to any person by means of a
firearm. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-201(a)(8) (Repl. 2013). A
person acts purposely with respect to his or her conduct or a
result of his or her conduct when it is the person's
conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to
cause the result. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-2-202(1). One's
intent or purpose, being a state of mind, can seldom be
positively known to others. Cole v. State, 33
Ark.App. 98, 102, 802 S.W.2d 472, 475 (1991). Since intent
ordinarily cannot be proved by direct evidence, jurors are
allowed to draw upon their common knowledge and ...