FROM THE CRAIGHEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT
[NO. 16JCR-18-333] HONORABLE RANDY F. PHILHOURS, JUDGE.
Goodwin Jones, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Joseph Karl Luebke, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
Waymond M. Brown, Judge.
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 appellant's conviction without
reaching the merit of his sufficiency challenge due to his
failure to preserve the argument for appellate review.
was leaving for work in the early morning hours of January 5,
2018, Dan Hancock saw a man "robbing" his
neighbor's 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
(Hancock's) drove off. Hancock chased the car, took down
the license-plate number, and provided it to police.
footage obtained by the Jonesboro Police Department from
Hancock's 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
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 Cannady's and
appellant's names on it and a knit hat with the word
"DOPE" on the front that matched the one seen in
the security-camera footage.
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
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 this court may not decide
an issue for the first time on appeal.
At the close of the State's case, appellant moved for a
directed verdict stating,
Your Honor, I just want to make a Motion for Directed
Verdict, and I'm going to be referring to the information
that is filed by Mr. DeProw. As to Count 1, breaking or
entering, as it says here said defendant in this case Mr.
Daniels, did unlawfully and feloniously about January 5 for
the purposes of committing the theft of felony, entered, or
breaking into a vehicle. All right. So my basis for the
motion on this count would be that-while the Prosecution has
entered evidence, which they purport to show the presence of
Mr. Daniels in the neighborhood, also evidence from the
police department, and from one of the victims, the presence
of an automobile belonging to Chelsea Cannady. There's
been no evidence regarding the actual breaking or entering
into the truck of Mr. Hancock by Courtney Daniels. In
regarding the committing of a felony or theft, I admit there
is circumstantial. I am making this based on direct evidence,
so that is as to that count.
person commits the offense of breaking or entering if for the
purpose of committing a theft or felony he or she breaks or
enters into any building, structure, or
vehicle. In his directed-verdict motion, appellant
argued that there was "no evidence regarding the actual
breaking or entering into" Hancock's truck by
appellant. On appeal, appellant now contends that the State
failed to provide sufficient evidence of his
"purpose" to commit a theft. A party is bound by
the nature and scope of the objections and arguments made at
trial and may not enlarge or change those grounds on
appeal. Here, at trial appellant ...