FROM THE DESHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT NO. 21ACR-16-65 HONORABLE
SAM POPE, JUDGE.
M. "Robby" Golden, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Christian Harris, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
J. GLADWIN, JUDGE.
February 7, 2018, Adam Patton was convicted in the Desha
County Circuit Court of rape and incest. On appeal, he
argues that the circuit court violated his Sixth Amendment
right to assistance of counsel. We affirm.
was charged by information filed on August 19, 2016, with the
rape of his son, JP. The information was amended on May 16,
2017, to include three counts of rape and two counts of
incest involving the same victim.
pretrial hearing on September 18, 2017, the circuit court
granted defense counsel's motion to withdraw, which was
based on appellant's failure to contact him. Appellant
alleged that he had tried to contact his lawyer but agreed
that they had not spoken prior to the pretrial hearing. When
the circuit court told appellant that it was inclined to
grant counsel's motion to withdraw, appellant asked the
court to give him time to find another lawyer. The circuit
court granted the motion to withdraw and continued
appellant's case until January 22, 2018, which was the
pretrial date. The circuit court told appellant that he
needed a lawyer on his case within the next month to two
months. The trial date was reset to February 6-9, 2018.
pretrial hearing on January 22, appellant told the court he
had not hired another attorney because he could not find
anyone he "could come to an agreement on, moneywise,
financially." The following colloquy occurred:
The Court: Mr. Patton is here for pretrial. The State has
charged him with the offenses of rape, which allegedly
occurred between 2012 and 2016. He was formerly represented
by Mr. Robinson, his firm, which filed a motion to withdraw
which I granted in September. He was to hire another lawyer.
[Appellant], have you done that?
Appellant: No, sir, Your Honor. I haven't, I guess, found
somebody that we could come to an agreement on, moneywise,
financially. I was here today to ask you for, if maybe the
courts would appoint me one, to say the evidence and all that
the courts have against me, I guess I'm unprepared You
know, I have spoke to a few different lawyers. We just
can't come to an agreement, Your Honor, so I'm kind
of at your mercy.
The Court: What is your income?
Appellant: Right now, Your Honor, not a lot. You know, I ran
across a little stroke of luck a little while back with the
lottery, and all that I've been living off of, me and my
family. As far as income weekly, there isn't any.
The Court: How much money do you have left from your
Appellant: Well, there was remodeling of my mother's
home, vehicles for my wife and my oldest son, one for me, one
for my mother. So
The Court: You're not indigent. I'm not going to
appoint you a lawyer. It's clear to me that you are
trying to take advantage of the system. Now, you're going
to trial in two weeks with or without a lawyer. I don't
The Court: Well, I'm not going to appoint him counsel. He
is not indigent. And that's what I, the Constitution
requires is me to appoint indigent counsel. Now, if he wants
to go to trial without a lawyer, he's made that choice as
far as I'm concerned. Just his statements regarding his
disposition of his lottery winnings is clear to me that he
had not taken care of his personal business and he's
putting himself in this position. I so find. So, we'll
just go from there. You're ordered back to court for jury
trial February 6th-we're going to set that date right
now-at 8:30 a.m. You can be dismissed until then.
to the commencement of the trial on February 6, the State
requested as follows:
Prosecutor: Judge, the only other issue-and the court may
have done this on the pretrial date that we had, you know, a
little over two weeks ago and I may have missed it. But-So if
the court has done this, I'll withdraw the request.
With the situation we're in with [appellant] being deemed
not to be indigent, I didn't know if there was a record
made as the fact that he did win the lottery, he acknowledged
that, the amount that he won and when that was. I think-I
don't think the record reflects that. And I would ask
that, the court would inquire as to that so that the record
would reflect that, that winnings and earnings.
Appellant: I believe it was around the first of March or so,
Your Honor. It was a little over six hundred and eighty
thousand ($680, 000) is what I left there with.
The Court: Okay. So around March 1st ...