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Scott v. State

Supreme Court of Arkansas

October 10, 2019

Broderick Don SCOTT, Appellant
v.
STATE of Arkansas, Appellee

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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          PRO SE APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST DIVISION [NO. 60CR-06-1822], HONORABLE LEON JOHNSON, JUDGE

          Broderick Don Scott, pro se appellant.

         Leslie Rutledge, Att’y Gen., by: Brad Newman, Ass’t Att’y Gen., for appellee.

         OPINION

         JOSEPHINE LINKER HART, Justice

          In 2006, appellant Broderick Don Scott entered a plea of guilty to first-degree battery, two counts of committing a terroristic act, possession of a firearm by certain persons, aggravated assault, and first-degree terroristic threatening, for which he was sentenced to an aggregate term of 360 months’ imprisonment. In 2013, Scott filed in the trial court a pro se petition for writ of error coram nobis challenging the judgment, and on November 26, 2013, the petition was denied. Scott did not file a notice of appeal until February 19, 2014, eighty-five days after the order had been entered. This court denied Scott’s motion for belated appeal for failure to establish good cause for the untimely filing of the notice of appeal. Scott v. State, 2014 Ark. 199, 2014 WL 1776009 (per curiam).

         On April 20, 2016, Scott again sought coram nobis relief in the trial court. Scott filed an amended pro se petition on May 5, 2016. The trial court, addressing the May 5, 2016 amended coram nobis petition, denied relief and noted that it had found Scott’s first coram nobis petition untimely in 2013 and that Scott’s current petition, filed ten years after imposition of sentence, "would be no timelier than the first." This court reversed and remanded, concluding that the Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), claim may have had merit and that the trial court was in a position to hold an evidentiary hearing to consider and test the merits of the petition. See Scott v. State, 2017 Ark. 199, 520 S.W.3d 262.

         On remand and after an evidentiary hearing, the trial court again denied relief, and Scott now appeals the denial of his second petition for writ of error coram nobis. On appeal, Scott contends that (1) the trial court erred by finding that Scott failed to demonstrate the State suppressed evidence in violation of Brady ; (2) the trial court erred by not taking judicial notice of adjudicative facts regarding the file-mark dates on the evidence introduced by the State; (3) the trial court erred when it failed to apply the doctrine of "law of the case" when raised by Scott; (4) the trial court erred by stating that the victim "recanted" her statement; [1] the trial court

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erred by permitting the State to piecemeal its defense; and (6) the trial court erred by failing to find that Scott suffered prejudice by the suppression of the evidence. Scott has failed to establish that the trial court abused its discretion and that the writ should have issued; as such, we affirm.

          I. Standard of Review

          When the judgment is appealed, an appellant must first seek permission in this court to proceed in the trial court with a petition for writ of error coram nobis. Kain v. State,2019 Ark. 113, 570 S.W.3d 466. However, if the judgment of conviction was entered on a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the petition for writ of error coram nobis is first filed directly with the trial court. Id. The standard of review of an order entered by the trial court on a petition for a writ of error coram nobis is whether the trial court abused its discretion in granting or denying the writ. Osburn v. State,2018 Ark. 341, 560 S.W.3d 774. An abuse of discretion occurs when the trial court acts arbitrarily or groundlessly. Id. The trial court’s findings of fact on which it bases its decision to grant or deny the petition for writ of error coram nobis will not be reversed on appeal unless those findings are clearly erroneous or clearly ...


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