HENRY GADSDEN JR. APPELLANT
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND DIVISION [NO.
60CR-17-1699] HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER CHARLES PIAZZA, JUDGE
R. Williams, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Joseph Karl Luebke, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
LARRYD. VAUGHT, JUDGE.
Gadsden Jr. appeals the sentencing order entered by the
Pulaski County Circuit Court convicting him of first-degree
battery and sentencing him to serve ten years in the Arkansas
Department of Correction. On appeal, Gadsden argues that
evidence was insufficient to support his conviction and that
the circuit court abused its discretion in admitting the
testimony of Cynthia Field. We affirm.
Gadsden's bench trial, Jimmia Green testified that on
March 13, 2017, she was at school while Gadsden (her
boyfriend) was at her home with her four-month-old daughter,
RG1, and his one-year-old daughter, RG2. Green stated that
she received a text message from Gadsden advising that RG1
had hit her head, she was hurt, and Green needed to come
home. Green testified that Gadsden first said that RG1 was
injured when RG2's foot came down on RG1's head, but
he later told Green that RG1 had fallen from the bed, she had
fallen from the kitchen counter, and he may have dropped her.
Green said Gadsden never told her that he had kicked RG1 in
the head, and she denied having told anyone that.
Green returned home and saw RG1, she called UAMS to voice her
concerns about RG1's injuries and to advise that she was
bringing RG1 to the hospital, which she did. Green testified
that the doctor evaluated RG1, said she was normal, and
released her on March 14, 2017. On the morning of March 15,
law-enforcement officers came to Green's home and told
her that she had to take RG1 to UAMS for a follow-up
Field, a receptionist at UAMS, testified that she answered
Green's call on March 13. Field stated that Green
identified her baby as RG1 and said, "My boyfriend
kicked the baby in the head." Field put Green on hold to
find a nurse, and Green hung up. Field reported the call to
her supervisor, which led to a child-abuse-hotline report and
the follow-up evaluation of RG1 at UAMS.
Sarah Hicks of the Little Rock Police Department testified
that she received a child-abuse-hotline report concerning
RG1's injuries and investigated the report, which
included interviewing Gadsden. In his interview, Gadsden said
that he had placed RG1 in a bouncy seat on a bed with RG2. He
stated that he left the room, heard a bang, returned to the
room, and found RG1 and RG2 on the floor. He said that RG2
was trying to get up, and her foot stepped on RG1's head.
He also said that RG1's head may have struck the wooden
Rachel Clingenpeel of UAMS testified that she evaluated RG1
on March 15. Her examination revealed that RG1 had sustained
fractures to the left and right parietal bones of her skull,
bruising on the left side of her forehead, swelling on the
left side of her skull, subdural and subarachnoid hematomas
and hemorrhages, and swelling of the brain. Dr. Clingenpeel
stated that RG1's injuries were caused by a substantial
traumatic force that an immobile infant could not generate on
her own. The doctor testified that RG1's injuries were
inconsistent with short household falls from three to four
feet and involved substantial forces "significantly
greater than any force that would be involved in any sort of
appropriate interaction with an infant." Dr. Clingenpeel
stated that the only plausible explanation for RG1's
injuries provided in the patient history was a kick to the
head by an adult. Her diagnosis of RG1 was child physical
abuse and neglect.
testified at trial. He stated that RG1's injuries were
caused when he was carrying RG1, tripped over RG2, dropped
RG1, and fell on top of her. He admitted that the other
accounts he gave about how RG1 was injured were lies.
conclusion of trial, the circuit court found Gadsden guilty
of first-degree battery and sentenced him to ten years'
imprisonment. This appeal followed.
first point on appeal is that the evidence is insufficient to
support his conviction. In order to preserve a challenge to
the sufficiency of the evidence in a bench trial, a criminal
defendant must make a specific motion for dismissal or for
directed verdict at the close of all evidence. Sellers v.
State, 2013 Ark.App. 210, at 3-4 (citing Colgan v.
State, 2011 Ark.App. 77, at 1; Ark. R. Crim. P.
33.1(b)-(c) (2010)). Rule 33.1 reads in pertinent part:
(b) In a nonjury trial, if a motion for dismissal is to be
made, it shall be made at the close of all of the evidence. .
. . If the defendant moved for dismissal at the conclusion of
the prosecution's evidence, then the motion must be
renewed at the close of all of the evidence.
(c) The failure of a defendant to challenge the sufficiency
of the evidence at the times and in the manner required in
subsections (a) and (b) above will constitute a ...