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Straub v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

May 29, 2019

STEVEN ANTHONY STRAUB APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE CRAIGHEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT [NO. 16 JCR-09-694] HONORABLE DAVID N. LASER, JUDGE

          Terry Goodwin Jones, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: David L. Eanes, Jr., Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee

          ROBERT J. GLADWIN, JUDGE

         Appellant Steven Anthony Straub appeals from an order of the Craighead County Circuit Court revoking his probation. On appeal, Straub challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the October 5, 2018 revocation. We affirm.

         I. Facts

         On March 29, 2012, Straub pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and breaking or entering in Craighead County Circuit Court No. 16JCR 2009-694, [1] for which he received a suspended sentence. A petition for revocation was filed on May 15, 2013, and Straub pleaded guilty to nonpayment, failure to report, and departing the state without permission and was resentenced to sixty months' probation on July 31, 2014. An order setting out the conditions of Straub's probation was filed of record that same date.

         On January 7, 2016, the State petitioned to revoke Straub's probation on the basis of pending criminal charges in Louisiana, as well as for leaving Arkansas without permission and failing to pay court-ordered fines and restitution. The petition was amended on September 25, 2018, to add an additional basis for revocation-the failure to lead a law-abiding life because of a new charge of theft by receiving (jewelry).

         At the hearing on October 5, 2018, the State announced it would not be pursuing revocation on the pending criminal charges in Louisiana but would continue to pursue revocation on the other grounds alleged. Evidence was submitted, and witness testimony was taken by both parties at the hearing.

         Kayla Sain, Straub's probation officer, explained that she "inherited" Straub's case from two previous probation officers. She testified to having a record of Straub's meeting with his prior supervising officer in 2014, but she could not find any documentation of a probation transfer to Louisiana. Sain had documentation of a request to transfer Straub's probation to Louisiana in 2012, but she testified from her case file and had no independent knowledge of the situation. Sain also testified about Straub's payment history, stating that Straub was delinquent in his payments of fines, fees, and costs.

         Martha Carey testified that she had hired Straub to help her move several items into her house, only to realize the next day that her house had been burglarized and that many personal items had been stolen, including a distinctive bag and several pieces of jewelry. Carey described the bag as very distinctive because it was a zippered silver bag with several different compartments. She further testified that she was shown pictures of jewelry by police officers that she identified as belonging to her.

         Detective Jacob Daffron explained that he was the detective assigned to the burglary. He testified that he found the bag and some of the jewelry in question at the home of Enano Goza and Sabrina Quirrels, a residence where Straub admitted staying.

         Ms. Quirrels testified next, explaining that Straub had been staying at her house and that he had given her some jewelry to pawn. Mr. Goza testified next and stated that he had pawned some jewelry given to him by Straub and, by doing so, was subsequently convicted of theft by receiving. The State then rested its case-in-chief.

         Straub testified on his own behalf, and he indicated that he is not from Arkansas and was only briefly here around the time of his initial arrest. He testified that his prior probation officer had authorized his return to his home state of Louisiana. Straub stated that while he was there, he had been homeless and unable to obtain and maintain employment due, in part, to his status as a felon and also his lengthy ...


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