FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SEVENTH DIVISION [NO.
60CR-14-1520] HONORABLE BARRY A. SIMS, JUDGE AFFIRMED.
William R. Simpson, Jr., Public Defender, by: Clint Miller,
Deputy Public Defender, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Amanda Jegley, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge.
Jason Randal Stewart appeals from a Pulaski County Circuit
Court order revoking his probation. He was sentenced to three
years in the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC). On
appeal, Stewart argues that the State failed to prove by a
preponderance of the evidence that he violated a condition of
his probation. We disagree, and we affirm.
October 20, 2014, Stewart appeared in the Pulaski County
Circuit Court with his public defender and pleaded guilty to
one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a
Class B felony. The circuit court accepted his plea and fined
him $1, 000. The circuit court further ordered Stewart to pay
court costs and fees, complete community service, and submit
to random drug screens. Stewart was also sentenced to six
29, 2015, the State filed a petition to revoke Stewart's
probation, alleging that he had violated its terms by
committing the offense of terroristic threatening; failing to
pay his fines, costs, and fees; testing positive for
marijuana; and failing to participate in community service.
Stewart pleaded true to the State's probation-revocation
petition on March 7, 2016. The circuit court accepted this
plea and fined Stewart $200. Additionally, the circuit court
ordered Stewart to pay court costs, complete community
service, and submit to random drug screens. He was sentenced
to four years' probation.
April 10, 2017, the State filed a second probation-revocation
petition, asserting that Stewart had violated the conditions
of his probation by failing to report; failing to pay his
fines, costs, and fees; and testing positive for marijuana. A
hearing was held on June 12, 2017, at which time the circuit
court revoked his probation and sentenced him to three years
in the ADC. Stewart now timely appeals.
appeal, Stewart argues the State failed to prove by a
preponderance of the evidence that he violated a condition of
his probation. He claims that the conditions of his probation
did not require him to pass drug screens. Stewart further
argues that the State failed to prove his two additional
violations-failing to report to his probation officer and
failing to make timely installment payments on his fines,
costs, and fees-were inexcusable. We do not find merit in his
to Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-93-308(d)
(2017), a court may revoke a defendant's probation at any
time before the expiration of the period of probation if the
court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the
defendant has inexcusably failed to comply with a term or
condition of the probation. The State has the burden of
proving that a condition of probation was violated. Jones
v. State, 2013 Ark.App. 466. The State need show that
the defendant committed only one violation in order to
sustain a revocation. Banks v. State, 2014 Ark.App.
63. On appellate review, the circuit court's findings are
upheld unless they are clearly against the preponderance of
the evidence. Stultz v. State, 92 Ark.App. 204, 212
S.W.3d 42 (2005). Our court defers to the circuit court's
superior position to determine credibility and the weight to
be accorded testimony. Baney v. State, 2017 Ark.App.
20, 510 S.W.3d 799.
challenges the sufficiency of the proof of each alleged
violation, requesting that this court reverse. When multiple
violations are alleged as justification for revocation of
probation, and the circuit court made no specific findings as
to which violation it relied on, we will affirm the
revocation if there is sufficient evidence to establish that
at least one violation has been committed. E.g.,
Doyle v. State, 2009 Ark.App. 94, at 4, 302 S.W.3d
607, 609. Here, the State proved by a preponderance of the
evidence that Stewart inexcusably violated his conditions of
probation by testing positive for marijuana, failing to
report as directed, and failing to pay his fees, fines, and
revocation hearing, Stewart's probation officer, Kendra
Alexander, testified that on March 24, 2016, Stewart tested
positive for marijuana in violation of the conditions of his
probation. Stewart contends on appeal that he was required
only to submit to drug screens, not to pass them. This
argument holds no weight. Stewart's probation conditions
required him to "obey all Federal and State laws."
Our court has noted that a positive drug screen can be used
as evidence that an appellant has violated the probation
condition that the appellant lead a law-abiding life.
See, e.g., Beebe v. State, 2009 Ark.App.
113, 3, 303 S.W.3d 89, 91. Therefore, the State's
undisputed testimony that Stewart tested positive for
marijuana was sufficient proof that he had violated the
conditions of his probation. Stewart next contends the State
did not prove his failure to report was inexcusable. However,
the State need only present evidence of noncompliance.
E.g., Hart v. State, 2017 Ark.App. 434, at
3, 530 S.W.3d 366, 368. It is then the defendant's burden
to present a reasonable excuse for this noncompliance.
E.g., Anglin v. State, 98 Ark.App. 34, 36,
249 S.W.3d 836, 838 (2007). The circuit court had the
discretion to either accept or reject any of Stewart's
excuses for his noncompliance. E.g., Owens v.
State, 2009 Ark.App. 876, at 8, 372 S.W.3d 415, 420.
Stewart's conditions of probation required him to report
to his probation officer monthly. Officer Alexander testified
that Stewart was aware that he was required to attend his
monthly meetings, and Stewart's mother, Carolyn Sliter,
testified that she drove him to the meetings. He failed to
report on March 3, and while his mother offered a number of
excuses for him, she also testified that Stewart
"chose" not to go. The circuit court was well
within its discretion to find that Stewart's failure to
report for his monthly probation meeting was inexcusable.
final argument that the State did not prove that his failure
to pay his fines, costs, and fees was inexcusable also fails.
Because he cited no facts and made no convincing argument in
support of this claim, we reject his argument. He offered no
testimony or evidence concerning his financial situation or
his inability to pay, and the circuit court did not commit
error when it revoked his probation. As noted above, the
State needed to prove only one violation to revoke
Stewart's probation, and it has done so in this case.
See, e.g., Doyle, supra. At the
revocation hearing, the State presented sufficient proof that
Stewart violated multiple conditions of his probation. ...