Mackey v. State, No. CR

CourtSupreme Court of Arkansas
Writing for the CourtPURTLE
Citation651 S.W.2d 82,279 Ark. 307
Docket NumberNo. CR
Decision Date31 May 1983
PartiesWillie Ray MACKEY, Appellant, v. STATE of Arkansas, Appellee. 82-120.

Page 82

651 S.W.2d 82
279 Ark. 307
Willie Ray MACKEY, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Arkansas, Appellee.
No. CR 82-120.
Supreme Court of Arkansas.
May 31, 1983.

Page 83

[279 Ark. 309] Campbell & Campbell by James C. Campbell, Hot Springs, for appellant.

Steve Clark, Atty. Gen. by Leslie M. Powell, Asst. Atty. Gen., Little Rock, for appellee.

PURTLE, Justice.

This appeal from the Garland County Circuit Court arises from appellant's conviction of first degree murder wherein he received a life sentence and a fine of $15,000. Six points for reversal are argued and will be set out separately in the opinion below. We do not find that any prejudicial error occurred in the appellant's trial.

Appellant was charged with capital murder in furtherance of the crimes of robbery and kidnapping, in violation of Ark.Stat.Ann. § 41-1501 (Repl.1977). Vladimir Vejrosta was murdered on January 20, 1981. His body was discovered in the trunk of his car at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport on [279 Ark. 310] April 10, 1981. An autopsy revealed he died as a result of two gunshot wounds to the top of his head. The victim also had evidence of blunt trauma to his rib muscles which injury occurred prior to his death.

Appellant's involvement commenced in late 1980 when he and his wife, Judy Mackey, entered into negotiations with the deceased to sell him some gold coins. Various witnesses established that the coin deal was to be consummated on January 20, 1981, at which time Vejrosta was to give appellant's wife a check for $15,000 in return for the coins. The appellant and/or his wife cashed the check at a used car lot where appellant used $6,500 to purchase a Corvette. The dealer testified appellant had been trying to deal for the vehicle over a period of several weeks and had said he was waiting for a check to clear. Officers of a local bank testified they had required the deceased to deposit his check from a Nebraska bank in a

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Hot Springs bank until it cleared. On January 20, 1981 the bank allowed Vejrosta to draw on the Nebraska check and established a checking account for Vejrosta who in turn wrote a $15,000 check payable to appellant's wife. This was the last day Vejrosta was seen alive.

The investigation was long and complicated. Appellant became a suspect and was picked up for questioning on May 18, 1981, in Crescent City, California and three days later was arrested for interstate flight to avoid prosecution. On May 22, 1981, he informed the California authorities that he would waive extradition hearings and return to Arkansas. An Arkansas parole officer picked appellant up on June 29, 1981 and returned him to the Garland County jail on July 2, 1981. The information was filed on July 14, 1981 and a hearing was held the next day. On that day appellant was held to be a parole violator and it was found that he should be returned to the Arkansas Department of Corrections. However, it appears that he remained in the Garland County jail up until his trial was completed on May 21, 1982.

On August 6, 1981, the information was amended to also charge appellant's wife, Judy Mackey, with capital [279 Ark. 311] murder. She was arrested, made bond, fled the state and has not been heard from since.

Testimony at the trial was to the effect that the deceased either bought or attempted to buy gold coins from appellant and his wife. There was uncontradicted evidence that the victim gave them a check for $15,000 on the day he was murdered. Other testimony was to the effect that appellant's brother, Carl Mackey (who pled guilty to the crime of hindering apprehension), helped appellant and his wife dispose of decedent's body. Carl was the state's chief witness; he testified that he went to appellant's home on the evening of January 20, 1981, helped wrap the body of the victim and transport it to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Carl was paid $500 for driving the victim's vehicle, with the body in the trunk, to the airport. He testified that appellant and Judy Mackey both told him they had killed a man whom they had set up on a deal to purchase nonexistent gold coins.

It was appellant's contention that his wife killed Vejrosta while appellant was visiting his parents in the early afternoon. He further contended that she later told him about the killing and he helped dispose of the corpse in order to keep from having his parole revoked for being present with his wife after she killed Vejrosta. These matters were told to the jury in the opening statement by appellant's attorney. The jury was instructed that Carl was an accomplice and that his testimony alone was not sufficient to convict the appellant. The jury convicted appellant of murder in the first degree, sentenced him to life and fined him $15,000.

I

The appellant argues he was denied a speedy trial as required by A.R.Cr.P., Rule 28 and the federal and state constitutions. Our Rule 28 was adopted for the purpose of enforcing the constitutional provisions requiring a speedy trial. Rule 28.1(a) requires a person held in jail on an offense to be tried within nine months or released on his own recognizance. Rule 28.1(b) requires a person being held in prison in this state to be tried within twelve months, [279 Ark. 312] excluding periods of necessary delay, or if this provision is not complied with to be granted an absolute discharge as to the offense charged.

Appellant was first arrested on May 21, 1981. His trial commenced on May 18, 1982 and concluded on May...

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35 practice notes
  • Bailey v. State, CR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • July 9, 1998
    ...value must outweigh its prejudicial effect; and (3) the prior conduct must relate to the witness's truthfulness. Mackey v. State, 279 Ark. 307, 316, 651 S.W.2d 82 (1983). This test must be considered along with our settled law that evidentiary matters regarding the admissibility of evidence......
  • Zurla v. State, 18348
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • January 25, 1990
    ...arising from his pretrial incarceration due in part to a parole revocation stemming from an unrelated offense. See Mackey v. State, 279 Ark. 307, 651 S.W.2d 82 (1983) (although trial commenced a year after defendant's arrest, he was not denied a speedy trial where, following his arrest, his......
  • Echols v. State, CR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • December 23, 1996
    ...the probative value outweighs the possibility of unfair prejudice; (3) whether it relates to the witness's truthfulness. Mackey v. State, 279 Ark. 307, 651 S.W.2d 82 (1983). Under these circumstances, we cannot say that the trial court abused its discretion in finding that the evidence was ......
  • Perry v. Norris, PB-C-83-275.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas
    • March 3, 1995
    ...that the defendant, as well as the prosecutor, may petition the Court to secure the attendance of material witnesses. Mackey v. State, 279 Ark. 307, 651 S.W.2d 82, 1983. See also Hall, 33 Ark Law Review 122, pages 138 and Arkansas adopted the Uniform Act to Secure Attendance of Witnesses fr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
35 cases
  • Bailey v. State, No. CR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • July 9, 1998
    ...value must outweigh its prejudicial effect; and (3) the prior conduct must relate to the witness's truthfulness. Mackey v. State, 279 Ark. 307, 316, 651 S.W.2d 82 (1983). This test must be considered along with our settled law that evidentiary matters regarding the admissibility of evidence......
  • Perry v. Norris, No. PB-C-83-275.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas
    • March 3, 1995
    ...that the defendant, as well as the prosecutor, may petition the Court to secure the attendance of material witnesses. Mackey v. State, 279 Ark. 307, 651 S.W.2d 82, 1983. See also Hall, 33 Ark Law Review 122, pages 138 and Arkansas adopted the Uniform Act to Secure Attendance of Witnesses fr......
  • Zurla v. State, No. 18348
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • January 25, 1990
    ...arising from his pretrial incarceration due in part to a parole revocation stemming from an unrelated offense. See Mackey v. State, 279 Ark. 307, 651 S.W.2d 82 (1983) (although trial commenced a year after defendant's arrest, he was not denied a speedy trial where, following his arrest, his......
  • Echols v. State, No. CR
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • December 23, 1996
    ...the probative value outweighs the possibility of unfair prejudice; (3) whether it relates to the witness's truthfulness. Mackey v. State, 279 Ark. 307, 651 S.W.2d 82 (1983). Under these circumstances, we cannot say that the trial court abused its discretion in finding that the evidence was ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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