FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND DIVISION [NO.
60CR-16-4422] HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER CHARLES PIAZZA, JUDGE
William R. Simpson, Jr., Public Defender, by: Clint Miller,
Deputy Public Defender, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Rachel Kemp, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
M. GLOVER, JUDGE
Calvin Blair was convicted by a Pulaski County Circuit Court
jury of battery in the first degree, possession of a firearm
by certain persons, and theft by receiving; the jury further
found he had employed the use of a firearm in the commission
of the battery. Blair was sentenced as a habitual offender to
a total of fifty-one years' imprisonment. On appeal, he
takes issue only with his conviction for theft by receiving,
arguing (1) the State failed to introduce substantial
evidence the firearm he possessed on October 24, 2016, was
stolen, and (2) the State failed to introduce proof the
allegedly stolen firearm had any value. We affirm.
pertinent facts giving rise to the issues on appeal are as
follows. On October 16, 2016, Blair called Timothy Parker
between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. wanting Parker to meet him
outside Parker's house. When Parker went outside, a third
man ran toward Parker and Blair; both Blair and the third man
had firearms and ordered Parker to open the door to his
house. When Parker's wife opened the front door, Parker
attempted to run through the door and lock it, but he was
shot twice by Blair, once in the back and a second time in
the chest. Blair and the third man went to the bedroom with
Parker's wife. Parker heard Blair tell the third man to
go see if Parker was dead. The third man returned to the
front room, shot Parker's dog twice, and then reported to
Blair that both Parker and the dog were dead; however, they
both survived. Four shell casings were recovered from the
Parker home-two 9mm casings and two .40 caliber casings.
October 24, the Little Rock Police Department, acting on a
tip, arrested Blair for outstanding warrants. At the time of
his arrest, Blair was wearing a holster on his right hip
containing a black Smith & Wesson M&P .40 caliber
firearm. Officer Scott Miles of the Little Rock Police
Department identified the pistol presented by the State at
trial as the one Blair possessed at the time of his arrest
and testified that, at the time of Blair's arrest, the
semiautomatic .40 caliber weapon was loaded with eight
bullets, one in the chamber and seven in the magazine.
Officer Miles further identified the firearm by its serial
number, which he had recorded-HWR0747.
Roberts testified that the firearm taken from Blair was
purchased by Roberts for his nephew but had been stolen from
his truck the previous February; he had filed a police report
regarding the theft. He said he could tell the firearm was
his because it looked similar to the one he purchased, and
the firearm's serial number should be R0767. Roberts
stated he did not know Blair and had not given the firearm to
him, nor had he authorized anyone else to be in possession of
moved for a directed verdict at the close of the State's
case-in-chief. Specifically, with respect to the
theft-by-receiving charge, he argued (1) the State failed to
introduce any evidence regarding the value of the .40 caliber
firearm and (2) Roberts had misidentified the firearm serial
number. The circuit court denied his motion.
testified in his own defense, admitting he had a .40 caliber
gun with him on the date of the incident at the Parker home,
but he denied it was the one the State had placed into
evidence. He claimed he had traded some marijuana for that
.40 caliber firearm, and he did not know if the gun was
stolen. Blair stated the firearm introduced into evidence was
not the firearm he had when he shot Timothy Parker in
self-defense, because he had dismantled that firearm and
thrown the parts into various dumpsters. Blair explained he
obtained another firearm a few days later from his friend
Jabaris as a gift for favors he had performed for Jabaris,
and he did not know it was stolen. Blair admitted he often
obtained guns off the street; he said he never went to the
store to buy guns.
Blair's testimony, the defense rested and renewed its
directed-verdict motion, adding the argument that the State
failed to prove Blair knew or had good reason to believe the
gun he possessed was stolen. The circuit court again denied
the motion. The jury found Blair guilty, and he now brings
first argues the State failed to introduce substantial
evidence that the firearm he possessed on October 24, 2016,
was stolen. Specifically, he argues the serial number of the
firearm in evidence did not match the serial number of
Presley Roberts's firearm-the firearm in evidence had
serial number HWR0747, while Roberts testified the serial
number of his firearm was R0767.
motion for directed verdict is treated as a challenge to the
sufficiency of the evidence. Crozier v. State, 2016
Ark.App. 307, 496 S.W.3d 401. The test for determining the
sufficiency of the evidence is whether substantial evidence,
direct or circumstantial, supports the verdict. Baca v.
State, 2013 Ark.App. 524. Substantial evidence is
evidence of sufficient certainty and precision to compel a
conclusion one way or another and pass beyond mere
speculation or conjecture. Id. On appeal, we review
the evidence in the light most favorable to the appellee,
considering only that evidence supporting the verdict.
person commits the offense of theft by receiving if he or she
receives, retains, or disposes of stolen property of another
person, knowing that the property was stolen, or having good
reason to believe the property was stolen. Ark. Code Ann.
§ 5-36-106(a) (Repl. 2013). The unexplained possession
or control of recently stolen property or the acquisition of
property for a consideration known to be far below the
property's reasonable value ...