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Webster v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

October 16, 2019

Gary WEBSTER, Appellant
v.
STATE of Arkansas, Appellee

Page 96

          APPEAL FROM THE CRAIGHEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT [NOS. 16JCR-17-796; 16JCR-17-7; 16JCR-10-377; 16JCR-09-1262], HONORABLE PAMELA HONEYCUTT, JUDGE

          Terry Goodwin Jones, for appellant.

         Leslie Rutledge, Att’y Gen., by: Christian Harris, Ass’t Att’y Gen., for appellee.

          OPINION

         BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge

          Gary Webster appeals the Craighead County Circuit Court’s finding that he violated the conditions of his suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) and probation. On appeal, he argues that the State failed to prove that his failure to comply with the conditions was willful. We affirm.

          In CR-09-1262, Webster was charged with failure to register as a sex offender. In CR-10-377, Webster was again charged with failure to register and with living near a school or a daycare. In November 2012, he pled guilty in both cases and received a sentence of five years’ SIS on each count. In CR-17-7, Webster was once again charged with failure to register. He pled guilty and was sentenced to six years’ SIS. And finally, in CR-17-796, Webster was charged yet again with failure to register.

          In July 2017, the State petitioned to revoke Webster’s probation in CR-09-1262, CR-10-377, and CR-17-7 because he had failed to live a law-abiding life, which had

Page 97

resulted in his arrest in CR-17-796, and because he had failed to pay court costs as ordered. He pled guilty to the charge in CR-17-796 and to the petition to revoke in the other cases. In CR-17-796, he was sentenced to five years’ probation; in each of the other cases, he was sentenced to five years’ SIS.

          In July 2018, the State petitioned to revoke Webster’s probation and SIS based on his failure to live a law-abiding life, pay court costs, and report to his probation officer. Webster had again been charged with failure to register (CR-18-506). In September 2018, the State amended its petition to include a failure to report a change of address and living within 2000 feet of a youth center or daycare facility.

          The circuit court convened a revocation hearing on 7 September 2018. Natasha Kaja, a sex-offender-registration specialist at the Jonesboro Police Department, testified that Webster is a Level 3 sex offender and that he had last verified his information with her on April 13. On that day, Webster said he was living at Econo Lodge on Phillips Drive. Kaja reminded him that he could not live within 2000 feet of a school, park, daycare, or youth center, which meant he could stay only at the hotels closest to Phillips Drive and Caraway Road in Jonesboro. Kaja next saw Webster on April 26, when he advised her that he was moving to West Memphis, although he did not have a new address. He again said he had been staying at Econo Lodge, but when Kaja presented proof that he had not been living there, he admitted that he had been staying at Park Place Inn and at Rodeway Inn, which are both within 2000 feet of a daycare. Kaja said that Webster was arrested that day for failure to comply with reporting. He called her on April 30, the day he was released, and said he would be staying at Days Inn, but she advised him that he could not stay there because it was within 2000 feet of a daycare. He then said he would return to Econo Lodge, and that was the last contact Kaja had with him.

          Officer Ethan Sanderlin testified that on 22 April 2018, he responded to a welfare check at Rodeway Inn on Caraway Road and spoke to Webster. Webster told Sanderlin that "his time had run out at the Econo Lodge and that he was looking for a new place to live." Webster did not have a room at Rodeway Inn at that time.

          Officer Adam Hampton testified that he spoke with Webster on April 24 at Park Place Inn. Webster said that he had been living at Econo Lodge but had recently been evicted. Hampton ...


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