An appeal by a Jefferson County man challenging the revocation of his probation was without merit, the Arkansas Court of Appeals said Wednesday.
Alvontae Whitmore, 21, was originally charged with residential burglary and theft of property in 2015. In January 2016, he was convicted and sentenced to 60 months probation. He was told to abide by the terms and conditions of that probation, which included a list of monetary obligations.
Prosecutors in September filed a petition to revoke the probation, alleging multiple violations of the terms and conditions of the probation, and later filed a supplemental petition alleging that Whitmore had been charged with committing serious felonies on two separate occasions.
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Wyatt Jr. held a hearing on March 7, 2017, where Whitmore’s probation officer testified about the violations. Those included testing positive for hydrocodone, heroin and marijuana, failing to report to the office for the entire month of May and once in July, and being delinquent in his monetary obligations.
Whitmore also left the state without the necessary permission.
After hearing the testimony, Wyatt revoked Whitmore’s probation and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, and later last year denied a motion from Whitmore, which was submitted by his attorney, to reconsider his decision.
Whitmore had also filed a notice of appeal and after Wyatt denied reconsideration, the attorney asked to be relieved, saying that there was no merit to it.
Writing for the court, Associate Justice Mike Murphy said that prosecutors had only to prove one violation in order to sustain a revocation and relying on the probation officer’s testimony of multiple violations, Wyatt did not err when he revoked the probation.
In addition, Wyatt had the authority to set the range of punishment within the statutory range for a particular crime and he sentenced Whitmore to 10 years in prison for the burglary and six years for the theft of property, with the sentences to run concurrently with each other. Residential burglary is a Class B felony, which by law carries a sentence of not less than five and not more than 20 years in prison. Therefore Whitmore was sentenced within the guidelines set by the state.
In addition to ruling that the sentence and conviction was proper, the court allowed the attorney to withdraw.
According to the Arkansas Department of Correction website, Whitmore is serving his sentence at the Ouachita River facility in Malvern and will be eligible to apply for parole on Jan. 2, 2019.