FROM THE CRAIGHEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT
[NO. 16JCR-18-333], HONORABLE RANDY F. PHILHOURS, JUDGE
Goodwin Jones, for appellant.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Joseph Karl Luebke, Asst Atty
Gen., for appellee.
M. BROWN, Judge
Appellant Courtney Daniels was found guilty by a Craighead
County jury of one count of breaking or entering and
sentenced to serve a term of six years in the Arkansas
Department of Correction and ordered to pay a $5000 fine. On
appeal, he contends that the circuit court erred in denying
his directed-verdict motion, arguing there was insufficient
evidence to sustain the conviction. We affirm appellants
conviction without reaching the merit of his sufficiency
challenge due to his failure to preserve the argument for
was leaving for work in the early morning hours of January 5,
2018, Dan Hancock saw a man "robbing" his
neighbors vehicle. Hancock reached for the nine-millimeter
pistol that he kept in his truck but discovered that it was
missing. The man, whom Hancock described as wearing a dark
hoodie and dark pants, took off running; at the same time, a
car that was parked directly behind his (Hancocks) drove
off. Hancock chased the car, took down the license-plate
number, and provided it to police.
Security-camera footage obtained by the Jonesboro Police
Department from Hancocks neighbor showed appellant checking
the door handles of several vehicles and "rummaging
through" another vehicle. The man in the footage was
wearing clothing similar to the clothing worn by the man
Hancock described— he was wearing a dark hoodie and
dark pants. He was also
wearing a knit hat displaying the word "DOPE"
across the front.
Jonesboro Police Department tracked the license-plate number
provided by Hancock to a car owned by Chelsea Cannady. After
obtaining a search warrant, police searched the vehicle and
found a marriage license with Cannadys and appellants names
on it and a knit hat with the word "DOPE" on the
front that matched the one seen in the security-camera
was charged with breaking or entering and theft of
property. The jury found appellant guilty of
breaking or entering; however, the jury was unable to reach a
verdict on theft of property, and a mistrial was granted as
to that charge. Appellant was sentenced to a term of six
years incarceration and ordered to pay a $5000 fine. He now
argues that the circuit court erred when it denied his motion
for directed verdict because "there was insufficient
substantial proof to sustain a conviction" against him.
In order to preserve a sufficiency challenge on appeal, a
timely, clear, and specific motion for directed verdict must
be made to the circuit court. Our courts have explained
that the reason for the specificity requirement for a
directed-verdict motion is that
when specific grounds are stated and the absent proof is
pinpointed, the circuit court can either grant the motion, or
if justice requires, allow the State to reopen its case and
supply the missing proof. A further reason that the motion
must be specific is that ...