Rehearing Denied September 11, 2019
Rehearing Denied September 18, 2019
FROM THE WOODRUFF COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 74CR-17-50],
HONORABLE RICHARD L. PROCTOR, JUDGE
Law Firm, by: Michael Kiel Kaiser and William O.
"Bill" James, Jr., for appellant.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Rebecca Kane, Asst Atty Gen., for
J. HARRISON, Judge
2017, the State charged Latosha Deann Lee with one count of
trafficking of persons. In February 2018, a Woodruff County
Circuit Court jury convicted Lee, and she was sentenced to
ten years imprisonment in the Arkansas Department of
Correction. Lee challenges the sufficiency of the States
evidence against her. We affirm the conviction and related
2016, Lees fifteen-year-old daughter K.L. met
thirty-seven-year-old B.J. Gaddis online after he commented
that she was pretty on Facebook. In June 2016, K.L. snuck out
of her mothers house to meet Gaddis in person in McCrory,
Arkansas. K.L. initially told her mother that she was
babysitting Gaddiss children. But in July 2016 when Lee
discovered that Gaddis and K.L. were having sex, Lee forbade
her daughter from seeing Gaddis— going so far as to
nail K.L.s bedroom door shut.
Notwithstanding these efforts, Gaddis and K.L. continued
seeing each other; K.L. claimed love for Gaddis. After K.L.
threatened to hurt herself, Lee relented and permitted K.L.
to see Gaddis if they met in the front of the house and
K.L.s little sister was with them. K.L. was not permitted to
be alone with Gaddis.
said that, in an attempt to get around Lees constraints,
Gaddis "offered my mom meth in exchange for me for two
hours." K.L. and Lee met Gaddis at a cemetery outside
town. K.L. said that Gaddis handed her a small baggie of
methamphetamine, which she in turn gave to her mother. K.L.
and her mother returned home, and K.L. watched her younger
sister for fifteen to twenty minutes. Gaddis then picked up
K.L. and took her to his house, where they had sex. K.L.
returned home very late that night and said that Lee was
crying. According to K.L., Lee was upset because Brandon
(K.L.s stepfather) had been yelling at her, telling her that
it was "not right" that she had exchanged K.L. for
meth. To make her mother feel better, K.L. said that she had
not had sex with Gaddis when, in fact, she had.
did not testify during the trial, but her inculpatory
statement to Arkansas State Police special officer Randall
Murphy was read to the jury ...