Williams v. State, CR

Decision Date01 May 1989
Docket NumberNo. CR,CR
Citation298 Ark. 484,768 S.W.2d 539
PartiesJames Edward WILLIAMS, Appellant, v. STATE of Arkansas, Appellee. 88-164.
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Gibbons and Walker, Russellville, for appellant.

J. Brent Standridge, Asst. Atty. Gen., Little Rock, for appellee.

HAYS, Justice.

Appellant James Williams was convicted of aggravated robbery and rape. The only question on appeal is the sufficiency of the evidence.

The crimes occurred in the early morning hours of December 2, 1986, at the Best Western-King's Inn in Russellville, Arkansas. Betty Lindsey was working the 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift as a desk clerk when she was approached by a man holding what appeared to be a pistol, but which was in fact a visegrip partially concealed in a cloth bag so as to look like a weapon. He demanded she give him money from the cash register and then pushed her into a back room where he tied her hands with wire and raped her.

After hearing of the robbery and rape, two other women employed as night clerks at neighboring motels came forward with information that they had been approached by a man around the time of the incident at Best Western-King. Their description of the man was similar to that given by the victim. In both cases the man had inquired about the price of a room and after a short discussion of the matter, had departed.

About two months later, on February 10, 1987, the three women were shown a photographic lineup which included a picture of the appellant, James Williams. All three identified the photograph of appellant as the man who had approached them on the night in question.

There was a motion filed to suppress the in-court and out-of-court identification based on the photo lineup's suggestiveness but there is nothing in the record to show that the motion was ever ruled on. In fact, the motion seems to have been abandoned as there was no objection on that basis to the testimony at trial of the out-of-court identification nor to the in-court identification.

A trial was held on March 16, 1988. The jury found appellant guilty on both the charge of rape and the charge of aggravated robbery and imposed a sentence of forty years and life imprisonment. It is from that judgment that appellant brings this appeal.

Appellant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict, as there was insufficient evidence from which the jury could find appellant was the person who committed the crimes.

A motion for a directed verdict is a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. Glick v. State, 275 Ark. 34, 627 S.W.2d 14 (1982). On appeal, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the appellee and sustain the conviction if there is any substantial evidence to support it. Wright v. State, 288 Ark. 209, 703 S.W.2d 850 (1986). The evidence is substantial if it is of sufficient force and character to compel reasonable minds to reach a conclusion and pass beyond suspicion or conjecture. Birchett v. State, 289 Ark. 16, 708 S.W.2d 625 (1986). We view only the evidence which is most favorable to the jury's verdict and do not weigh it against other conflicting proof favorable to the accused. Ricketts v. State, 292 Ark. 256, 729 S.W.2d 400 (1987).

The evidence in this case rests upon the credibility of the victim and the two other witnesses, and while there are some inconsistencies in the testimony, that is a matter of credibility for the jury to decide. Burris v. State, 291 Ark. 157, 722 S.W.2d 858 (1987); Cope v. State, 292 Ark. 391, 730 S.W.2d 242 (1987); Beed v. State, 271 Ark. 526, 609 S.W.2d 898 (1980). A jury may accept or reject any part of a witness's testimony and we are bound by the jury's conclusion. Burris v. State, supra. We have no right to disregard the testimony of a witness after the jury has given it full credence, at least where it cannot be said with assurance that it was inherently improbable, physically impossible or so clearly unbelievable that reasonable minds could not differ thereon. Kitchen v. State, 271 Ark. 1, 607 S.W.2d 345 (1980).

We find the discrepancies in the testimony in this case are not of a nature that we could say with any assurance the evidence was inherently improbable or physically impossible. This is so particularly in light of...

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33 cases
  • Chism v. State
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • April 19, 1993
    ... ...         We treat the challenge of a denial of a motion for directed verdict as a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. Smith v. State, 310 Ark. 247, 837 S.W.2d 279 (1992); Williams v. State, 298 Ark ... 484, 768 S.W.2d 539 (1989). The test for determining the sufficiency of the evidence is whether there is substantial evidence to support the verdict. Ricketts v. State, 292 Ark. 256, 729 S.W.2d 400 (1987). On appeal, this court reviews the evidence in the light most ... ...
  • Arkansas Dept. of Correction v. Glover
    • United States
    • Arkansas Court of Appeals
    • June 26, 1991
    ...part of a witness's testimony and reject other parts. This is a traditional function of the trier of fact. See Williams v. State, 298 Ark. 484, 768 S.W.2d 539 (1989). Finally, it might be observed that according to Spradlin, although the beer they bought was his (Spradlin's) brand, Glover h......
  • Littlepage v. State
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • October 11, 1993
    ...in the vehicle. We disagree. A motion for a directed verdict is a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. Williams v. State, 298 Ark. 484, 768 S.W.2d 539 (1989). The test for determining the sufficiency of the evidence is whether there is substantial evidence to support the verdict. R......
  • Walker v. State
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    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1993
    ...See Anderson v. State, 312 Ark. 606, 852 S.W.2d 309 (1993); Green v. State, 310 Ark. 16, 832 S.W.2d 494 (1992); William v. State, 298 Ark. 484, 768 S.W.2d 539 (1989). The trial record reflects that the day after the shooting, Walker made a statement to the police that Walls had committed su......
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