FROM THE COLUMBIA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 14CR-16-35],
HONORABLE DAVID W. TALLEY, JR., JUDGE
Firm, PLLC, by: Michael L. Yarbrough, for appellant.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Adam Jackson, Asst Atty Gen., for
D. VAUGHT, Judge
Andrade McKinney appeals the order entered by the Columbia
County Circuit Court denying his motion to recuse. He argues
that (1) there is a conflict in the law of judicial
disqualification that requires clarification; (2) this court
should change the standard of review in
judicial-disqualification cases; (3) the circuit court was
required to hold a hearing on his motion to recuse; and (4)
the circuit court was required to recuse pursuant to Arkansas
Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.11. We affirm.
is the third time McKinneys case has been before this court.
In his first appeal, McKinney challenged a sentencing order
that convicted him of delivery of methamphetamine, possession
of methamphetamine, maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous
possession of drugs and a firearm, possession of
methamphetamine with intent to deliver, and possession of a
firearm by certain persons and sentenced
him to a total of 154 years imprisonment. McKinney argued in
his first appeal that (1) there was insufficient evidence to
support the convictions for simultaneous possession of drugs
and a firearm and for possession of a firearm; (2) the
circuit court abused its discretion by ordering the sentences
to be served consecutively; and (3) the circuit court abused
its discretion by denying his request for a pretrial
January 10, 2018, this court affirmed McKinneys convictions
for delivery of methamphetamine and possession of
methamphetamine. McKinney v. State, 2018 Ark.App.
10, at 9, 538 S.W.3d 216, 222. We reversed and remanded the
remaining convictions holding that the circuit court abused
its discretion in denying McKinneys motions to suppress his
statement and the search of his home based on untimeliness
and that the court abused its discretion in denying his
request for a hearing on his motion to suppress his
statement. Id. at 9-10, 538 S.W.3d at 222. We
directed the circuit court on remand to rule on the merits of
McKinneys motion to suppress search and to hold a hearing on
the record for the limited purpose of considering the
arguments and allegations in his motion to suppress
statement. Id. at 10, 538 S.W.3d at 223.
remand, the circuit held a suppression hearing. At the onset
of the hearing, McKinney, who was represented by counsel,
made a pro se oral motion that the trial judge recuse based
on a "conflict of interest." The circuit court
asked McKinney if he had filed the motion to recuse, and
McKinney answered that he had not. The court advised McKinney
that before it could rule on the motion, McKinney had to file
it and give the State the opportunity to respond. McKinney
requested a continuance. The circuit court denied the request
for a continuance, stating that it was moving forward with
the suppression hearing as directed by this court. The court
invited McKinney to file any motion he liked at the end of
the suppression hearing.
the suppression hearing, McKinney filed his motion to recuse.
Citing Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct 2.11, McKinney
alleged that the trial judge should recuse because he had
represented McKinney in criminal matters from 2003-2010 and,
as a result, had a "conflict of interest."
April 25, 2018, the circuit court entered three orders: an
order denying McKinneys motion to suppress statement, an
order denying his motion to suppress search, and an order
denying his motion to recuse. The order denying the motion to
recuse stated that the trial judge had represented McKinney
in various cases between 2003 and 2010 but that none of those
cases were in any way related to his current criminal
charges. The order further stated that the past
representation had not caused any bias or impartiality of the
court for or against McKinney. The court noted that it had
presided over a jury trial concerning McKinney and no request
for recusal was raised. Finally, the order stated that
McKinneys motion mischaracterized the contents of Rule 2.11
of the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct.
filed a timely notice of appeal from the circuit courts
three orders entered on April 25, 2018. In the second appeal,
due to addendum deficiencies, we held that counsel failed to
comply with Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 4-2(8)(A)(i), and we
ordered a ...