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Daniels v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

May 30, 2018

DANA MARIE DANIELS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE MILLER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 46CR-13-464] HONORABLE BRENT HALTOM, JUDGE

          Phillip A. McGough, P.A., by: Phillip A. McGough, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Rachel Kemp, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          N. MARK KLAPPENBACH

         Appellant Dana Marie Daniels was convicted of committing aggravated assault on a family or household member. Dana was tried by a jury in Miller County, and she received the maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $10, 000 fine. Dana argues on appeal that the trial court erred in denying her motion for directed verdict, which is a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence to support her conviction. The State contends that appellant's arguments are not preserved for appellate review. We affirm.

         In a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the State and consider only the evidence that supports the conviction. Cluck v. State, 365 Ark. 166, 226 S.W.3d 780 (2006). Evidence is sufficient if it is of such character and force that it, with reasonable certainty, compels a conclusion one way or the other without resort to speculation or conjecture. Id. The credibility of witnesses is an issue for the jury. Kinsey v. State, 2016 Ark. 393, 503 S.W.3d 772. 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.

         Dana was charged with committing aggravated assault on a family or household member as defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 5-26-306 (Repl. 2013), which states in pertinent part:

(a) A person commits aggravated assault on a family or household member if, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, the person purposely:
(1) Engages in conduct that creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to a family or household member[.]

         The alleged victim in this case was Dana's ex-husband Troy Daniels, and the incident occurred on the night of July 18, 2013. Dana and Troy divorced in 2005, but they continued to live in the same house, and Dana worked as an employee of Troy's tire business. Troy eventually fired Dana, which led to Dana having a confrontation with Troy at their home that night.

         Troy testified that when Dana got home, she began to scream and yell at him about firing her and hiring a replacement. At some point, Troy went to bed, but about an hour later, he was awakened by getting "clobbered." He said that Dana busted his cheek with some object, but he did not know what the object was. Troy got out of bed and left the house, going toward a car in the yard. Troy described Dana as "crazy that night, " yelling that he was "not going nowhere." Troy was trying to unlock the car door when he heard a gunshot that sounded like it was right by his ear. Troy ran down the road and heard a second shot fired. Two sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call, and they found Troy about a half mile away from the house. Troy told them that he and Dana had been in an argument and that Dana had shot at him.

         The deputies went back to the house where they saw broken glass and shell casings around the car. The deputies summoned Dana to come out of the house to talk, and Dana told them that it was Troy who had fired the gun at her.

         There was another person staying at the house that night, Dana's friend Vickie Patterson. Vickie testified that Dana came into the bedroom where she was sleeping, took a gun out, and told Vickie that she was "getting the gun" and "gonna kill him." Vickie got up and followed Dana out of the bedroom. Vickie saw Troy going outside and Dana running after him. She yelled at Dana, telling her not to shoot the gun, but Dana fired a round; a shell casing dropped inside the house. Vickie ran back to the bedroom and heard another shot fired. Vickie said that when Dana came back in the house, Dana asked her to tell the police that Troy had a gun on her (Dana). Vickie told Dana that she would not lie for her.

         The deputies observed that a gunshot had shattered the car window and found a loaded nine-millimeter pistol behind the front door. The deputies also located multiple shell casings on the property, one of which was found on the house's tile floor within three feet of the pistol. Another witness, Lisa Downs, ...


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