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FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 40CR-2013-13-5],
HONORABLE JODI RAINES DENNIS, JUDGE
Luppen, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att’y Gen., by: Chris R. Warthen, Ass’t Att’y Gen.,
R. BAKER, Associate Justice
Appellant Kenneth Hinton appeals the denial of his petition
for postconviction relief pursuant to Rule 37 of the Arkansas
Rules of Criminal Procedure. Hinton was convicted of one
count of first-degree battery and one count of second-degree
battery and sentenced to thirty years’ imprisonment and
fifteen years’ imprisonment respectively. Hinton’s
convictions and sentences were affirmed in Hinton v.
State, 2017 Ark. 107, 515 S.W.3d 121. Following this
court’s decision, Hinton timely filed a petition for
postconviction relief pursuant to Rule 37 of the Arkansas
Rules of Criminal Procedure. After a hearing, the circuit
court entered its order denying Hinton’s petition. We affirm.
Hinton’s convictions stem from a disturbance at the Varner
Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction
("ADC") on October 28, 2012, in which Hinton and
other inmates were involved. Hinton was charged in the
disturbance for injuring Warden Joe Page and shift lieutenant
Stephen Simmons. Initially, Hinton was named as a codefendant
with Karl Pearce, Demetrius Woods, Desmond Holliman, Charles
Jester, and Antonio Smith. On December 15, 2014, a jury trial
was held and resulted in a mistrial on December 16. On April
25, 2016, the case proceeded to trial for a second time.
Hinton’s trial, Lieutenant Simmons testified that on the day
of the incident, he had been working at the Varner Unit for a
little over two years and was familiar with Hinton.
Lieutenant Simmons testified that at the time of the incident
there was tension in the chow hall because the inmates
realized that an illegal phone had been confiscated from one
of the barracks. A riot broke out with several inmates
assaulting the staff. Lieutenant Simmons testified that
Hinton struck him in the back of his head. Lieutenant Simmons
testified that he was certain Hinton was the inmate who had
struck him because "that’s a face I will never, ever
forget." Lieutenant Simmons testified that after Hinton
struck him, Hinton immediately ran and struck Warden Page.
During his testimony, Lieutenant Simmons reviewed videos and
still photographs of the incident and identified Hinton as
the inmate who had struck him and Warden Page. With regard to
Warden Page’s condition after he was struck by Hinton,
Lieutenant Simmons testified that Warden Page was
unresponsive. Lieutenant Simmons testified that as a result
of the incident, he prepared an incident report in which he
stated that Hinton ran out of the main chow hall and hit him
with a closed fist on the left side of his face. On
cross-examination, Lieutenant Simmons testified that he did
not document Hinton’s striking Warden Page in the incident
Sergeant Kenneth Ridgell, a field rider with the ADC,
testified that he was familiar with Hinton because Hinton
previously worked on his utility squad. Sergeant Ridgell
testified that on the day of the incident, he ...