Patrick L. PATTON, Appellant
STATE of Arkansas, Appellee
FROM THE BRADLEY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 06CR-18-42],
HONORABLE SAM POPE, JUDGE
Law Office, by: Gary W. Potts, Monticello, for appellant.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Jason Michael Johnson, Asst Atty
Gen., for appellee.
Appellant Patrick Patton appeals from the December 5, 2018
Bradley County Circuit Court order convicting him of criminal
mischief in the first degree, a Class C felony. The jury
sentenced Patton to a term of ninety-six months in the
Arkansas Department of Correction, and he was ordered to pay
$17,000 in restitution. Pattons sole point on appeal is that
the circuit court abused its discretion by admitting hearsay,
in the form of an invoice, to prove the amount of actual
damages. We affirm.
evidence at trial established the following. Patton was taken
to the Bradley County Medical Center Emergency Room when he
sustained an injury earlier in the night while he was being
arrested. Patton testified he was dropped on his face, which
knocked out three of his teeth and required six stitches.
When a deputy went to the hospital to execute an arrest
warrant, Patton sat up, punched the wall, ripped down a
whiteboard, grabbed a computer and threw it down, and then
started punching out a glass cabinet.
Hall, an employee health nurse and in-service director at the
Bradley County Medical Center, testified that the computer
Patton damaged was a piece of specialized tele-medicine
equipment that could not be replaced by a regular laptop or
desktop computer. Hall explained that the device was part of
the "Arkansas Saves" program funded by the
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Hall
testified that she had overseen the program at the medical
center for roughly ten years and that UAMS pays part of her
salary because of it. Hall explained this program was
originally established through grants, but now the medical
center pays UAMS for the equipment yearly. Hall further
explained that the billing for this program does not go
through the medical centers typical financial process
because the medical center is billed strictly through UAMS.
prove the amount of damage caused, the State introduced an
invoice into evidence through Hall. The invoice was
transmitted by UAMS, and Hall submitted it to the medical
center. Hall testified she was authorized to submit it to the
medical center by the hospital administrator. The invoice
represented the actual replacement cost of $15,746.97 paid by
the medical center to replace the tele-medicine device and a
document identifying the glass cabinet costing $1,304. Patton
objected to the admission of the invoice, arguing that the
invoice was hearsay, but the court overruled his objection.
appeal, Patton does not expressly challenge the sufficiency
of the evidence; rather, he challenges the circuit courts
finding that the States proof of damages was not
decision to admit or exclude evidence is within the sound
discretion of the circuit court, and we will not reverse a
circuit courts decision regarding the admission of evidence
absent a manifest abuse of discretion. Sitzmann v.
State, 2019 Ark.App. 78, at 3-4, 569 S.W.3d 913, 916.
Specifically, we have stated that an appellate court will not
reverse a circuit courts ruling on a hearsay objection
unless the appellant can demonstrate an abuse of discretion.
Id. An abuse of discretion is a high threshold that
does not simply require error in the circuit courts decision
but requires that the circuit court act
improvidently, thoughtlessly, or without due consideration.
Id. Additionally, this court will not reverse an
evidentiary ruling absent a showing of prejudice.
person commits the offense of criminal mischief in the first
degree if he or she purposely and without legal justification
destroys or causes damage to any property of another. Ark.
Code Ann. § 5-38-203 (Repl. 2013). It is a Class C felony if
the amount of actual damages is more than five thousand
dollars. Id. To prove the amount of damages, the
State introduced an invoice through Hall. Patton argues this
invoice is hearsay and that without ...