CHARLES R. DAVIS APPELLANT
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE POINSETT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 56CR-15-131]
HONORABLE DAN RITCHEY, JUDGE
D. Watson, Attorney at Law, PLLC, by: Brett D. Watson, for
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Brooke Jackson Gasaway,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
KENNETH S. HIXSON, JUDGE
Charles R. Davis appeals after he was convicted by a Poinsett
County Circuit Court jury of one count of possession of a
firearm by a certain person which involves the commission of
another crime in violation of Arkansas Code Annotated section
5-73-103(c)(1)(B) (Repl. 2016). He was sentenced to serve 240
months' imprisonment to be served consecutively to his
separate conviction for manslaughter. On appeal, appellant
contends that (1) if his conviction for the underlying crime
of manslaughter is reversed on appeal, then we must also
reverse his conviction for possession of a firearm by certain
persons in commission of that crime, and (2) the trial court
abused its discretion in admitting into evidence the
manslaughter conviction as proof of the underlying crime in a
case charging him of being a felon who possessed a firearm in
the commission of a crime. We affirm.
was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, possession
of a firearm by a certain person which involves the
commission of another crime (hereafter felon in possession),
and as a habitual offender. The felon-in-possession charge
was severed, and appellant was convicted of the
lesser-included offense of manslaughter and sentenced to
serve 120 months' imprisonment. Appellant filed an appeal
from that conviction, and we recently affirmed his conviction
for manslaughter in case no. CR-17-487. See Davis v.
State, 2018 Ark.App. 383, ___ S.W.3d ___.
his appeal from the manslaughter conviction was still
pending, a jury trial was held on the severed
felon-in-possession charge. On the day of trial, the State
announced that it intended to enter into evidence a copy of
the sentencing order from the manslaughter conviction because
it was relevant as to whether appellant had used a firearm in
the commission of a crime. Appellant's counsel objected,
stating, "I was objecting to it as I - we did in the
phone conference last night that I think that it's rising
out of the same incident so it should not be used." The
trial court overruled the objection because "the use of
a firearm by a previously convicted felon in the commission
of an offense is an element of the Class B felony
charge." Therefore, appellant's 1993 felony
conviction for second-degree murder and his 2017 conviction
for manslaughter were admitted at the beginning of trial
without any further objection.
the State introduced testimony from law enforcement. Officer
Wilbur Hewitt testified that he had responded to a call that
shots had been fired at a trailer where appellant was living.
After he arrived, Officer Hewitt found Jeff Foster's body
inside the trailer; the body was covered in blood and wrapped
in a comforter. Appellant immediately claimed that it was an
accident and admitted that a .410 shotgun was inside the
Ron Martin testified that he found the shotgun in the dining
room. Detective Martin also interviewed appellant. According
to Detective Martin, appellant explained that he and Mr.
Foster had been drinking. Appellant had been living alone in
the trailer for a couple of weeks. Appellant admitted in the
interview that he had used a shotgun that belonged to his
cousin to "poke" Mr. Foster in an attempt to make
him leave his trailer after Mr. Foster had become obnoxious.
Appellant claimed that he did not intend to kill Mr. Foster
but that the shotgun was accidentally discharged, and Mr.
Foster was shot in the back of his neck and head. The jury
found appellant guilty, and appellant was sentenced to serve
240 months' imprisonment to be served consecutively to
his conviction for manslaughter. This appeal followed.
appeal, appellant first argues that if his manslaughter
conviction is reversed in his separate appeal case no.
CR-17-487, then we must also reverse his felon-in-possession
conviction. However, appellant's argument lacks merit
because we affirmed his manslaughter conviction. See
additionally argues that the trial court abused its
discretion in admitting into evidence the manslaughter
conviction as proof of the underlying crime in a case
charging him of being a felon who possessed a firearm in the
commission of a crime. Arkansas Code Annotated section
5-73-103(a) states that it is a crime for a person who has
been convicted of a felony to possess or own a firearm.
Subsection (c)(1)(B) states that a person who violates this
section commits a Class B felony if the person's current
possession of a firearm involves the commission of another
crime. See also Toombs v. State, 2015 Ark.App. 71.
Appellant specifically argues that the admission of the
manslaughter conviction violated the purpose of severance to
"promote[ ] a fair determination of the defendant's
guilt or innocence of each offense" and therefore was
it is true that objections need not cite specific rules to be
sufficient, it is clear that a specific objection is
necessary in order to preserve an issue on appeal. Leach
v. State, 2012 Ark. 179, 402 S.W.3d 517. To preserve an
argument for appeal, there must be an objection in the trial
court that is sufficient to apprise the court of the
particular error alleged, and the appellate court will not
address arguments raised for the first time on appeal.
Id. A party cannot change the grounds for an
objection or motion on appeal but is bound by the scope and
nature of the arguments made at trial. Id. Here,
appellant failed to make the argument he now makes on appeal.
Instead, he objected on the grounds that "I think that
it's rising out of the same incident so it should not be
used." We cannot presume from this ambiguous statement
that appellant was arguing that the introduction of the
conviction violated "the purpose of severance" and
"created a mandatory presumption in [the jurors']
minds that the State had proven the
As such, that issue is not preserved for appeal, and we do
not address it.