FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SEVENTH DIVISION [NO.
60CR-14-961], HONORABLE BARRY SIMS, JUDGE
R. Simpson, Jr., Public Defender, by: Clint Miller, Deputy
Public Defender, for appellant.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Jacob H. Jones, Asst Atty Gen.,
T. WHITEAKER, Judge
Appellant Henry Williams was convicted by a Pulaski County
jury of one count of first-degree battery; his
twenty-five-year sentence was enhanced by an additional three
years under Arkansas Code Annotated section 5-4-702 (Repl.
2013), which provides for enhanced penalties for
offenses committed in the presence of a child. On appeal,
Williams argues that the circuit court should have granted
his motion for directed verdict on the sentence enhancement
because the State failed to prove that he committed the
offense in the presence of a child. We affirm.
motion for a directed verdict is a challenge to the
sufficiency of the evidence. Carter v. State, 2019
Ark.App. 57, 568 S.W.3d 788. In reviewing a challenge to the
sufficiency of the evidence, we view the evidence in the
light most favorable to the State and consider only the
evidence that supports the verdict. Taylor v. State,
2017 Ark.App. 331, 522 S.W.3d 844; Ealy v. State,
2017 Ark.App. 35, 511 S.W.3d 355. We affirm a conviction if
substantial evidence exists to support it. Taylor,
supra. Substantial evidence is that which is of
sufficient force and character that it will, with reasonable
certainty, compel a conclusion one way or the other, without
resorting to speculation or conjecture. Id.
Substantial evidence can be either direct or circumstantial.
Chatmon v. State, 2015 Ark. 28, 467 S.W.3d 731.
Direct evidence is evidence that proves a fact without
resorting to inference, such as when a witness testifies as
to what he or she saw, heard, or experienced. Id.
Circumstantial evidence is evidence from which a fact may be
inferred. Id. Evidence of guilt is not less because
it is circumstantial. Id. Further, circumstantial
evidence may constitute substantial evidence to support a
conviction. Holland v. State, 2017 Ark.App. 49, 510
appeal, Williams does not challenge the sufficiency of the
evidence supporting his battery conviction. His only argument
concerns the sentence enhancement. As a result, we set forth
the facts that support his conviction as necessary to give
context to his argument.
shot Jacent Winston three times in the legs while Winston was
washing his truck in the front yard of his home. At the time
of the shooting, eight children ranging in ages from eight to
seventeen were at Winstons home awaiting a birthday party
for the twelve-year-old daughter of Winstons girlfriend.
Before the actual shooting, Williams engaged Winston in
conversation. Williams informed Winston that he lived in a
house behind Winstons, and Williams stated that he had been
watching Winston "for a long time." During the
conversation, Winstons daughter came outside, spoke to
Winston in the presence of Williams, and returned to the
home. Immediately thereafter, Williams pointed a gun at
Winstons head. Winston tried to run around his vehicle but
was shot by Williams and fell to the ground. After Winston
fell, Williams attempted to shoot him in the head, but his
gun either jammed or ran out of bullets. Hearing the gunfire,
the children came out of the house onto the front porch.
According to Winston, Williams then "looked up at the
kids and he smiled and he walked away real slowly."
pertinent to this appeal, at the close of the States case,
Williams moved for directed verdict on the enhancement for
committing the offense in the ...