FROM THE HEMPSTEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 29CR-15-150]
HONORABLE DUNCAN CULPEPPER, JUDGE
Stone, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Jason M. Johnson, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
MARK KLAPPENBACH, Judge
case is before us for a second time after we initially
ordered rebriefing. Williams v. State, 2017 Ark.App.
663. Jordan Williams was convicted by a jury in the Hempstead
County Circuit Court of two counts of aggravated robbery, one
count of aggravated residential burglary, one count of
first-degree battery, two counts of second-degree battery,
one count of interference with emergency communication, and
one count of theft of property. He received an aggregate
sentence of fifty years' imprisonment. On appeal,
Williams argues that the circuit court erred in denying his
motion for directed verdict, denying his motion to suppress,
and denying his Batson challenge. We affirm.
to trial, Williams filed a motion to suppress his confession
made during a custodial interview. Detective Andrew Watson of
the Hope Police Department testified at the suppression
hearing that he informed Williams of his Miranda
rights prior to the interview, and Williams initialed and
signed the form indicating his understanding. The interview
began around 10:50 a.m. Watson said that Williams was
concerned about missing his college welding courses, and
Williams initially said that he had no involvement in the
incident and did not know the victims, Mary Stuckey and her
adult son Jordan Stuckey. Watson asked Williams if he would
participate in a voice-stress analysis to determine whether
he was telling the truth and to clear his name, and Williams
agreed to do it.
Todd Lauterbach testified that he administered a computerized
voice-stress-analysis examination, which he described as
computer software that reads a person's voice for truth
verification. Prior to administering the exam, Lauterbach
again informed Williams of his Miranda rights, and
Williams signed a waiver and agreement to submit to the
voice-stress-analysis exam. Lauterbach testified that
Williams gave deceptive answers to the questions "were
you at Mary and Jordan Stuckey's house the night of the
robbery?" and "did you rob Mary and Jordan
the exam, Lauterbach left the room for a few minutes and
conferred with Watson before they both returned to question
Williams. Williams ultimately told the detectives that he was
contacted by a "homeboy" who told him that the
victims were supposed to have around $6000 in cash and some
marijuana. Williams said that his accomplice kicked in the
door. He told the detectives that his job during the robbery
was to take Mrs. Stuckey's phone and keep her from
calling the police while his accomplice robbed Mrs.
Stuckey's son. When Williams returned to the front of the
house, his accomplice had the money and was trying to get
drugs, and two or three shots were fired. Williams claimed
that he had not known his accomplice had a gun. They then ran
out of the house to a side street where a third accomplice
was waiting in a black Nissan. A video recording of the
interview was played for the court.
argued that the fact that he was enrolled in a trade course
indicated relative intellectual weakness. He claimed that the
detectives improperly induced his confession by stating that
he could go free after taking the voice-stress-analysis exam
and by telling him it would be bad if the detective had to
testify. He also argued that he should have been advised of
his Miranda rights before being questioned after the
voice-stress-analysis exam. The circuit court denied the
motion to suppress upon finding that Williams waived his
Miranda rights and confessed voluntarily.
jury trial, Mary Stuckey testified that she woke up on the
night of September 3, 2015, to find a man standing over her.
She said that he hit her on the head and face and grabbed her
phone from the foot of the bed. Mary hit the intruder with a
stick and ran out of her room. She was shot in the lower back
as she ran out the front door. She then saw two men running
away from her home. Jordan Stuckey testified that when he
woke up that night he saw both intruders in the house, and
one continued toward his mother's room. The other
intruder demanded money from Jordan and pointed a gun at his
head. Jordan said that he gave the intruder $900 and was then
shot twice. He saw both intruders run away and get into a
dark colored Maxima.
Daniel Oller testified that he responded to the Stuckeys'
home at approximately 2:50 a.m. He was told that the
intruders had left in a dark colored Nissan Maxima, and he
determined that the intruders entered the home by kicking in
the locked door. Detective Watson testified about his
interview with Williams in which he initially denied
involvement but later admitted it. Watson testified that
Williams provided specific facts of the crimes that were
consistent with the facts provided by the victims, including
each intruder's actions, the fact that the door had been
kicked in, when the shots were fired, and the type of vehicle
they fled in. The video of Williams's police interview,
excluding the voice-stress analysis, was played for the jury.
Hall testified on Williams's behalf that on the night of
the incident she got off work around 2:15 a.m. and spoke on
the phone with Williams during her drive home. She said that
Williams was at her home when she arrived around 3:10 a.m.
Williams testified that he gave a false confession because he
felt like the detective was belittling him and he thought the
detective would help get him into drug rehabilitation. He
said that the details he provided the detectives were things
that he had heard from "the streets" and from a
friend who had spoken to Jordan Stuckey's brother.
first address Williams's challenge to the sufficiency of
the evidence to support his convictions. In considering a
challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, we view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the State,
considering only the evidence that supports the verdict.
Gipson v. State, 2010 Ark.App. 820. We affirm if the
verdict is supported by substantial evidence. Id.
Substantial evidence is evidence that is forceful enough to
compel a conclusion one way or the other beyond suspicion or
conjecture. Id. Williams first argues that the
evidence was insufficient because his confession should have
been suppressed, and without his confession, there was no
evidence identifying him or placing him at the home at the
time of the robbery. However, when reviewing the sufficiency
of the evidence supporting a conviction, this court considers
all of the evidence introduced at trial, whether correctly or
erroneously admitted, and disregards any alleged trial
errors. Tennant v. State, 2015 Ark.App. 81. Thus,
this argument is without merit.
also claims that the evidence was insufficient because the
State failed to corroborate his confession. A confession of a
defendant, unless made in open court, does not warrant a
conviction unless accompanied with other proof that the
offense was committed. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-89-111(d)(1)
(Supp. 2017). This requirement for other proof, sometimes
referred to as the corpus delicti rule, mandates proof only
that the offense occurred and nothing more. Molpus v.
State, 2015 Ark.App. 452, 469 S.W.3d 374. Under the
corpus delicti rule, the State must prove (1) the existence
of an injury or harm constituting a crime and (2) that the
injury or harm was caused by someone's criminal activity.
Id. It is not necessary to establish any further
connection between the crime and the particular defendant.
Id. Here, it is clear that the requirement for other
proof was met by the evidence offered by the State, including