ROY A. HENDRIX APPELLANT
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE GRANT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 27CR-2017-189-1]
HONORABLE CHRIS E WILLIAMS, JUDGE
Gregory K. Crain, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Joseph Karl Luebke, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
A. WOMACK, Associate Justice
Hendrix bound his mother, beat her head with a hammer, and
drove away in her car. Though left for dead, Judy Hendrix
survived. Hendrix was subsequently convicted of attempted
capital murder, kidnapping, and theft of property. He appeals
only the denial of his motion for continuance to obtain an
independent mental evaluation. We affirm.
a detailed account of the underlying case is unnecessary to
resolve the sole issue on appeal, our factual discussion will
be brief. On October 29, 2017, Hendrix was asked to leave the
halfway house where he lived after showing up to work while
intoxicated. He was dropped off at his mother's house in
Leola that afternoon. Judy, who lived alone, was not home and
was not expecting her son. Before Judy returned that evening,
Hendrix consumed a bottle of vodka, two joints of marijuana,
and some methamphetamine. He insists he cannot recall the
rest of the evening. His recorded confession to police
suggests otherwise. Hendrix told police that after he
explained why he had been kicked out of the halfway house,
Judy refused to allow him to live with her. He did not
provide a detailed account of what happened next, but simply
confessed that "[he] did it."
that night, a Leola constable conducted a welfare check on
Judy at her granddaughter's behest. Judy's car was
missing but the lights were on. The constable discovered Judy
lying in her living room floor. She was bound at the ankle
and bleeding from her head. She had sustained multiple blunt
force head injuries, including several skull and facial
fractures and bleeding in and around her brain. Despite the
severity of her injuries, Judy survived. But she was unable
to recall what happened.
was soon arrested. He gave police the keys to Judy's car
and told them where it was located. A hammer, vodka bottles,
Judy's cell phone, and Hendrix's cell phone were
inside the car. Judy's hair and blood were on the hammer.
Hendrix was charged with kidnapping, aggravated robbery,
attempted capital murder, and theft of property.
to trial, Hendrix sought and received fitness to proceed and
criminal responsibility examinations. Both examinations
revealed that he suffered from alcohol, cannabis, and
methamphetamine use disorders. But he was ultimately deemed
fit to stand trial and capable of being held criminal
responsible for his conduct. On the day before trial, Hendrix
sought a continuance to seek an independent criminal
responsibility examination. The circuit court found that he
had not acted diligently and denied the request. A jury
subsequently convicted Hendrix of attempted capital murder,
kidnapping, and theft of property. He was respectively
sentenced to two consecutive life terms and a ten thousand
dollar fine. It is from this conviction that he directly
appeals to this court.
sole point on appeal, Hendrix challenges the denial of his
motion for continuance filed the day before trial. He sought
additional time to obtain an independent mental evaluation
after the state hospital determined he was capable of being
held criminally responsible. Hendrix admitted he had not
sought an independent examination because he was waiting to
see what the state hospital's report would hold. The
circuit court found that Hendrix had not been diligent and
refused to grant the continuance.
decision to deny a continuance is within the sound discretion
of the circuit court and will not be disturbed absent a clear
abuse of that discretion. See Brown v. State, 374
Ark. 341, 347, 288 S.W.3d 226, 231 (2008). Hendrix's
burden on appeal is two-fold: he must establish that the
court abused its discretion and show that the decision
resulted in prejudice amounting to a denial of justice.
Id. Prejudice is not presumed in this context.
See King v. State, 317 Ark. 293, 301, 877 S.W.2d
583, 588 (1994). Hendrix fails on both points.
continuance should be granted only upon a showing of good
cause. Ark. R. Crim. P. 27.3 (2017). In considering a motion
for continuance, the court should "tak[e] into account
not only the request or consent of the prosecuting attorney
or defense counsel, but also the public interest in prompt
disposition of the case." Id. The court should
also consider: (1) the diligence of the movant; (2) the
probable effect of the testimony at trial; (3) the likelihood
of procuring the attendance of the witness in the event of a
postponement; and (4) the filing of an affidavit, stating not
only what facts the witness would prove but also that the
movant believes them to be true. See Creed v. State,
372 Ark. 221, ...