FROM THE JEFFERSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 35CR-18-354]
HONORABLE ALEX GUYNN, JUDGE.
Law Office, by: Gary W. Potts, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Jason Michael Johnson,
Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
KENNETH S. HIXSON, JUDGE.
Cedric Williams was convicted in a jury trial of residential
burglary and third-degree battery. Williams was sentenced to
a twenty-year prison term for residential burglary to be
served concurrently with one year of incarceration for
third-degree battery. Williams's sole argument on appeal
is that there was insufficient evidence to support his
residential-burglary conviction. We affirm.
person commits residential burglary if he enters or remains
unlawfully in a residential occupiable structure of another
person with the purpose of committing in the residential
occupiable structure any offense punishable by imprisonment.
Ark. Code Ann. § 5-39-201(a)(1) (Repl. 2013). When an
appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, this
court determines whether the verdict is supported by
substantial evidence, direct or circumstantial. Medlock
v. State, 2016 Ark.App. 282. Substantial evidence is
evidence forceful enough to compel a conclusion one way or
the other beyond suspicion or conjecture. Id. We
review the evidence in the light most favorable to the State,
considering only the evidence that supports the verdict.
Davis v. State, 2016 Ark.App. 274, 493 S.W.3d 339.
Weighing the evidence, reconciling conflicts in the
testimony, and assessing credibility are all matters
exclusively for the trier of fact, in this case the jury.
Bankston testified for the State. Bankston stated that she
was once married to Williams and that they have three
children together who are now adults. However, Bankston and
Williams have been divorced since 1999. Bankston stated that
she would occasionally pay Williams to come to her house to
fix things but that this was strictly business. She also
testified that she typically kept her doors locked and her
alarm on while she was home because Williams would sometimes
walk into her home as though he lived there. Bankston stated
that Williams was not allowed in her house unless she invited
burglary and third-degree battery occurred at Bankston's
house on June 29, 2018, and the battery victim was Kevin
Patillo. Patillo has a disability and uses a walker, and
Williams and Patillo have known each other since childhood
and were once friends.
testified that on that date she was preparing to go on
vacation to Florida and was in her car. She saw Williams
coming across her yard, and because of their history, she was
reluctant to get out of the car. According to Bankston,
Patillo's car, which Williams recognized, was parked
outside her house. When Williams approached Bankston's
car, Bankston told him she was getting ready to go to
Florida. Patillo was in the house and was going to help care
for Bankston's granddaughter while Bankston was gone.
According to Bankston, Williams accused her of planning to
take Patillo with her to Florida, and she told Williams that
Patillo was not going with her. Before getting out of her
car, Bankston asked Williams to leave but Williams refused.
testified that after she got out of the car, Williams
followed her to the front door of the house. Bankston did not
invite him inside the house, and Williams pushed her out of
the way and entered. As soon as Williams walked inside the
house, he went to the couch where Patillo was sitting,
"snatched him off the couch," and began hitting
him. Bankston stated that Williams got on top of Patillo,
kicked him in the ribs, and hit him in the head. As Patillo
was being attacked by Williams, Patillo was unable to defend
himself. During the altercation, Bankston told Williams to
leave but he refused. Bankston yelled for her daughter to
call the police, and Bankston tried to pull Williams off
Patillo. However, Williams overpowered her. Williams
eventually left before the police arrived.
testified that he has a disabling condition known as
neurofibromatosis, which he has had his entire life. Patillo
stated that this has resulted in multiple surgeries to remove
over a hundred tumors, and that Williams is aware of his
described the events of June 29, 2018. Patillo testified that
he was inside Bankston's house when he heard some
commotion outside the door. Patillo stated that Williams
"bust[ed] through the door and proceeded to pound on
me." Patillo stated that Williams first tackled him and
then punched and kicked him in the side as Bankston tried to
pull Williams off him. Patillo testified that as a result of
the attack he had soreness in his side for the next three or
four days. Patillo surmised that Williams was mad because
Patillo was at Bankston's house.
appeal, Williams's only argument is that there was
insufficient evidence to support his residential-burglary
conviction. Specifically, Williams contends that the State
failed to prove that he had the intent to commit a crime
against Patillo at the time he entered Bankston's house.
Citing Wortham v. State, 5 Ark.App. 161, 634 S.W.2d
141 (1982), Williams argues that merely entering a residence
without the owner's permission does not, in itself, prove
that the person entered the residence with the specific
intent required for residential burglary. Williams maintains
that, to commit residential burglary, the purpose to commit a
particular offense must be established at the "point of
or prior to entry" into the residence. Arguing that
proof on this element was lacking, Williams seeks reversal of
his residential-burglary conviction.
order to prove residential burglary, the State had to prove
that Williams entered or remained unlawfully in
Bankston's house with the purpose to commit a battery
against Patillo. See Ark. Code Ann. §
5-39-201(a)(1). "Enter or remain unlawfully" means
to enter or remain in or upon the premises when not licensed
or privileged to ...