CHARLES DWIGHT KING, JR. APPELLANT
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE BOONE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 05CR-16-353]
HONORABLE GORDON WEBB, JUDGE.
Hancock Law Firm, by: Charles D. Hancock, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Kent G. Holt, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
LARRYD. VAUGHT, Judge
Dwight King, Jr., was convicted by a Boone County Circuit
Court jury of raping AF (born July 16, 2009). On appeal,
Charles challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting
the rape conviction and argues that the circuit court abused
its discretion in excluding an order of appointment of
emergency temporary guardian of AF. We affirm.
September 2016, AF was seven years old and lived with her
grandmother, Elaine Files, in Omaha, Arkansas. Elaine and AF
lived in a one-bathroom trailer that was connected by a porch
to an adjacent trailer. Charles lived in the adjacent trailer.
Elaine testified that she was sixty-three years old and had
known Charles, who was fifty-four years old at the time of
trial, since she was in her thirties when they "went
testified that AF was often in and out of Charles's
trailer. Elaine stated that there was a period of a few
months when she was remodeling the bathroom in her trailer,
and she and AF used the bathroom in Charles's trailer.
Elaine further testified that AF was never alone with Charles
at night except for on one occasion near the end of September
2016 when Elaine left AF in Charles's care because Elaine
stayed the night at the hospital with Brittany, who was
pregnant, after Brittany had been in a car accident.
October 11, 2016, Elaine was contacted by someone at AF's
school and informed that AF had been acting inappropriately.
When Elaine asked AF about her behavior and if anyone had
touched her inappropriately, AF said yes and identified
Charles. Elaine called Charles and told him what AF had said.
Elaine said that Charles denied the allegations, but she told
him she believed AF and not to come home. Elaine then called
local law enforcement, and an investigation followed.
Sonnette Panell testified that she lives in Springfield,
Missouri, with her husband Jarrod Panell. Sonnette has three
children with Robert, who have been adopted by Jarrod. Elaine
and AF lived with Sonnette and her family in Springfield from
2006 to 2009, and AF lived with Sonnette for a few months in
2015. After AF returned to Elaine in 2015, Sonnette filed for
guardianship of AF based on allegations that Elaine and AF
were living in a run-down trailer that did not have water or
electricity and that Charles is an alcoholic. Sonnette
testified that a decree denying her request for guardianship
was entered in August 2016. After the 2016 decree was
entered, Sonnette testified that there was no communication
between Elaine and Sonnette or between Sonnette and AF.
also testified that Brittany and Robert told her about the
allegations that Charles had sexually abused AF, and Sonnette
immediately filed for emergency temporary guardianship of AF,
which was granted on October 24, 2016. Sonnette has had
custody of AF since that time.
parties stipulated to the body-camera recording of Scott
Hornaday, a Boone County sheriff's deputy, in lieu of his
testimony. Scott was the officer who responded to
Elaine's call. Elaine reported to Scott that AF told her
Charles had been touching her, that he had her touch him, and
that it had happened several times. Scott directed Elaine and
AF to the sheriff's department.
Watson, corporal investigator for the Boone County
Sheriff's Office, testified that he met with Elaine and
AF at the sheriff's office where Elaine reported that
Charles had licked AF's "privates." Ryan
arranged for Elaine and AF to be seen at Grandma's House
Children's Advocacy Center (Grandma's House) where
Ryan observed AF's interview. Thereafter, Ryan sought to
interview Charles but could not locate him. Ryan testified
that his department actively searched for Charles but was
unable to locate him until October 25, 2016. When Charles was
brought in for questioning, Charles denied the charges
against him and claimed that Elaine had coached AF to make
the sexual-abuse allegations. Nevertheless, Ryan believed
that he had probable cause to arrest Charles and did arrest
eight years old when she testified at trial. She stated that
things would happen with Charles in his trailer when Elaine
was not there or when she was taking a nap, using the
computer, or watching TV. AF testified that the night Elaine
stayed at the hospital with Brittany, she (AF) stayed the
night in Charles's bed but that nothing happened.
However, she said on other occasions, Charles touched her
where she went to the bathroom with his mouth and hand. She
said that he rubbed her there, it hurt, and she could not go
to the bathroom later. She said that it happened at bath time
and that it happened more than once. AF further testified
that Charles got into the bathtub with her and made her wash
and suck his penis. AF said that on other occasions, Charles
kissed her on the mouth, licked her nipples, and put his
penis in her butt.
Jones, a forensic interviewer at Grandma's House,
testified that AF disclosed multiple incidents and multiple
forms of maltreatment of a sexual nature. Bryttany also
stated that there were things that AF ...