FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FOURTH DIVISION [NO.
60CR-13-3549] HONORABLE HERBERT T. WRIGHT, JR., JUDGE.
Michael L. Boyd, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Rachel Kemp, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
BRANDON J. HARRISON, JUDGE.
Boyd, an incarcerated appellant proceeding pro se, appeals
the circuit court's denial of his motion for return of
seized property. We affirm the circuit court's order.
court explained the underlying facts in Boyd's direct
appeal of his convictions for aggravated robbery and theft of
The crimes were alleged to have occurred at approximately
4:15 p.m. on September 13, 2013. A man had entered a Bank of
the Ozarks branch in North Little Rock with what appeared to
be a handgun in his waistband, demanded money, took $4, 000
of the bank's money, and left in a car that had been
described by bank tellers. Appellant was stopped in his car
about an hour after the armed robbery. Appellant had a
similar appearance to the man described by bank tellers and
seen in bank surveillance video. Appellant submitted to an
interview at the police station and waived his
Miranda rights. In the interview, appellant made
incriminating statements, admitting to having visited three
banks that day, to having been at the bank that was robbed,
to having what he described as a fake gun, and to taking
money from a bank teller.
Boyd v. State, 2016 Ark.App. 407, at 2, 500 S.W.3d
772, 775. When he was stopped by police, Boyd also had over
$2700 in his possession. Id. at 7, 500 S.W.3d at
777. He was convicted of aggravated robbery and theft of
property and sentenced to thirty years' and ten
years' imprisonment, respectively, to run consecutively.
He was also ordered to pay costs, fees, and a $4000 fine.
August 2017, Boyd moved for the return of seized property,
asserting that the $2700 in his possession at the time he was
detained was not contraband. He explained: "The movant
received a monthly check in the sum of $1, 574.00 and can
present documents to confirm this[.] In addition, Detective
Gibbons admitted he could not tie these funds to a robbery of
the Ozarks bank." The State responded by arguing that
"[n]o money was ever returned to Ozark Bank in this
matter and the $2700 is being held as evidence. . . . State
would object to the return of the $2700 to the
circuit court convened a hearing on 29 May 2018. Detective
Michael Gibbons admitted that at Boyd's trial, he
(Gibbons) had testified that the money found on Boyd's
person did not necessarily connect Boyd to the robbery
because the bank had not recorded the serial numbers of the
money that was stolen. Gibbons then clarified,
The money tied you to the robbery, just couldn't say
that's the bank's money for sure. . . . Although
circumstances was four thousand dollars, all one hundred
dollar bills, was stolen from the bank, and someone who was
unemployed had two thousand seven hundred fifty-three
dollars, 20 of those, 21 of those, 27 of those being one
hundred dollar bills tucked away in a wallet within an hour
of robbing a bank. That was just one of the many facts that
led to your arrest.
circuit court orally denied Boyd's petition and expressed
surprise that the money had not already been "turned
over to the Bank." The court entered a written order
finding that the cash seized from Boyd no longer had any
evidentiary value and that "after hearing evidence, this
Court has determined that cash should be returned to its
lawful owner, the Bank of the Ozarks[.]" Boyd has timely
appealed the denial of his motion to this
this was a bench trial, our review determines whether the
circuit court's findings were clearly erroneous or
clearly against the preponderance of the evidence. Sharp
v. State, 350 Ark. 529, 88 S.W.3d 848 (2002) (citing
Pre-Paid Solutions, Inc. v. City of Little Rock, 343
Ark. 317, 34 S.W.3d 360 (2001)). A finding is clearly
erroneous when, although there is evidence to support it, the
reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with a
definite and firm conviction that a ...