Georgia Mae Walker v. State of Arkansas

Annotate this Case
ar03-722

ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION

DIVISION I

GEORGIA MAE WALKER

APPELLANT

V.

STATE OF ARKANSAS

APPELLEE

CACR03-722

February 18, 2004

APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH DIVISION [NOS. CR1998-760, 3481, CR2001-3986, CR2001-2184]

HON. TIMOTHY DAVIS FOX,

JUDGE

AFFIRMED

John Mauzy Pittman, Judge

The appellant in this criminal case was on probation for burglary when she was charged with two counts of battery in the second degree. The State filed a petition to revoke based on these charges and other alleged probation violations. The cases were heard in consecutive proceedings; appellant was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, and her probation was revoked. This appeal followed.

For reversal, appellant contends that her convictions are not supported by substantial evidence and that her revocation is likewise not supported by the evidence. We affirm.

When the sufficiency of the evidence is challenged on appeal from a criminal conviction, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, considering only the evidence that tends to support the verdict, and will affirm if there is any substantial evidence to support the finding of guilt. Coon v. State, 76 Ark. App. 250, 65 S.W.3d 889 (2001). Substantial evidence is evidence of sufficient force and character to compel a conclusion one way or the other, inducing the mind to pass beyond mere suspicion or conjecture. Id. Pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. ยง 5-13-202(a)(2) (Repl. 1997), a person commits battery in the second degree if, with the purpose of causing physical injury to another person, she causes physical injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon other than a firearm. A vehicle may be found to be a deadly weapon where there is substantial evidence to support a finding that it constituted such a weapon. Harmon v. State, 260 Ark. 665, 543 S.W.2d 43 (1976).

The factual question to be resolved at trial was whether appellant intentionally used her vehicle to strike and injure the two victims. Both victims testified, as did the appellant. The versions of the events given by these principals differ on several crucial points, but there is general agreement on two issues: first, that there was animosity and an ongoing violent dispute between the victims and appellant and, second, that appellant did in fact strike the victims with her vehicle.

The victims testified that, after an altercation, appellant got in her car, drove off to get a long run, and came barreling at them, swerving so as to strike them although they were on or adjacent to the sidewalk. The male victim testified that he sustained broken bones and was hospitalized; the female victim stated that she received a sharp and painful blow to the abdomen. The appellant testified that she came upon the scene while investigating an act of vandalism, was surrounded by a crowd brandishing and striking her vehicle with various weapons, and was driving off in an attempt to escape when the victims jumped in front of her vehicle to block her path.

Appellant's argument that there was no evidence to show that appellant possessed the requisite mental state when she struck the victims with her vehicle is not preserved for appeal because it was not specifically mentioned in appellant's directed-verdict motion. See Newman v. State, 353 Ark. 258, 106 S.W.3d 438 (2003). Nevertheless, were this issue properly before us, we would doubtlessly hold that, on this record, appellant's mental state was a fact question that could reasonably have been resolved either way by the trier of fact. Whether or not appellant's vehicle constituted a deadly weapon is also a question of fact insomuch as it depends upon the manner in which it the vehicle was employed, see Harmon v. State, supra, and we hold that the evidence supports a finding that appellant's vehicle was so employed in the present case. Consequently, we affirm appellant's convictions.

Appellant's argument regarding the sufficiency of the evidence to support her revocation is that "the State has not provided substantial evidence to show that the Appellant is guilty of battery in the second degree." Insomuch as we have held that appellant's battery convictions were, in fact, supported by substantial evidence, this argument must likewise fail.

Affirmed.

Neal and Vaught, JJ., agree.