FROM THE JOHNSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 36CR-18-278]
HONORABLE WILLIAM M. PEARSON, JUDGE
F. Eastman, for appellant.
BRANDON J. HARRISON, JUDGE
Childers was convicted by a jury of possession of a
controlled substance. On appeal, Childers's counsel has
filed a no-merit brief, along with a motion to withdraw as
counsel, asserting that there is no issue of arguable merit
for an appeal. Childers was provided with a copy of
counsel's motion and brief and was informed of his right
to submit pro se points for reversal in accordance with Rule
4-3(k)(2) of the Arkansas Rules of the Supreme Court, but no
pro se points have been filed. We affirm and grant the motion
August 2018, Childers was charged with possession of a
controlled substance and possession of a firearm by certain
persons. In January 2019, Childers moved to exclude
the recording of a phone call made to 911 by Childers prior
to his arrest or, in the alternative, for a continuance.
jury trial held on January 24, Stephanie Herring, a 911
coordinator, testified that she had been asked to retrieve
the recording of a 911 call made by Childers on 26 July 2018.
On that call, Childers reported that there "[s]eems to
be a Mexican gang around my house lighting dynamite and
Jonia Smith testified that on 26 July 2018, he responded to a
report of a possible residential burglary in which the victim
had shot at some subjects trying to break into his house.
When he arrived at the reported address, he saw "three
suspected bullet holes through the residence," which he
believed resulted from the shots fired at the alleged
intruders. A man, later identified as Childers, came to the
door, and Smith observed that he was "extremely sweaty
and his pupils were darting back and forth. He could not keep
still." Smith also said that Childers "seemed
confused" and "couldn't believe I didn't
see them." Smith believed that Childers was under the
influence of a narcotic, specifically a stimulant, and he was
placed under arrest for communicating a false alarm. Smith
testified that he considered Childers a danger to his
neighbors at that point because he had fired shots, and he
(Smith) thought Childers should be mentally evaluated.
Childers was transported to the detention center, Smith saw
the jailer conduct a pat-down search of Childers. Smith said
that as the jailer pulled the front of Childers's shirt
to check for weapons, "a baggie fell down to the floor.
And when that happened, Mr. Childers said, 'Well, that
ain't mine but it sure fell out of my crotch.'"
The state crime lab later determined that the baggie
contained .7208 grams of methamphetamine.
the State rested, Childers moved for a directed verdict,
arguing that due to Childers's state of mind, he had not
knowingly possessed the methamphetamine. The motion was
testified that he is seventy-six years old and that he had
made several 911 calls on July 26. He denied saying anything
about the "Mexican Mafia" but did admit that he had
"hallucinated that day Muslins [sic] were invading
Ozone." He also admitted shooting at these imagined
invaders, causing the bullet holes. Childers said that he had
been sweaty because it was July and that his pupils had been
dilated probably due to the medication he had been taking. He
testified that he had been taking prescription medication for
anxiety and depression and that he had started hallucinating,
specifically seeing "people in the trees around [his]
house" after starting the medication. He also said he
took medications for arthritis, blood pressure, and
cholesterol. He denied ever using illegal drugs and said he
had not used any methamphetamine on July 26. He acknowledged
possibly drinking alcohol that night. According to Childers,
when the baggie fell on the floor during intake, he said,
"Whatever it is, that would be mine." But he denied
ever having methamphetamine in his possession.
close of the defense's case, Childers renewed his motion
for directed verdict, which was denied. The jury found
Childers guilty of possession of a controlled substance, and
he was sentenced to thirty days' incarceration and three
attorney has filed a no-merit brief pursuant to Anders v.
California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), and Ark. Sup. Ct. R.
4-3(k) (2019), along with a motion to withdraw as counsel,
asserting that there is no issue of arguable merit for an
appeal. A request to withdraw on the ground that the appeal
is wholly without merit must be accompanied by a brief that
contains a list of all rulings adverse to appellant and an
explanation as to why each ruling is not a meritorious ground
for reversal. Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 4-3(k)(1). The brief must
contain an argument section that consists of a list of all
rulings adverse to the defendant made by the circuit court on
all objections, motions, and requests made by either party
with an explanation as to why each adverse ruling is not a
meritorious ground for reversal. Id.
first addresses the motion to exclude the recorded phone call
or, alternatively, a motion for continuance. It appears from
the record that the motion was never ruled on, but according
to counsel, "it was retracted by defense counsel prior
to the commencement of the trial, although not on ...