A Jefferson County man whose probation was revoked last year had his conviction reversed and dismissed by the Arkansas Court of Appeals Wednesday.
The high court ruled that Circuit Judge Alex Guynn erred when he denied a motion by Donshadric Boyd to dismiss his revocation petition because the evidence was insufficient to support the revocation.
Boyd pleaded guilty to illegal dogfighting on Oct. 11, 2016 and was sentenced to 36 months probation. On May 3, 2018, a petition was filed to revoke that probation and on Sept. 11, a hearing was held on the petition.
At that hearing, Colin Frierson, who was Boyd’s probation officer, testified that Boyd had been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Desha County on Jan. 21, 2017. Boyd objected to the testimony, arguing that Frierson was not the person who arrested him, and had no knowledge of the arrest. The objection was overruled.
Prosecutors then asked to admit the Dumas court docket sheet to prove the DWI but Boyd objected and contended that the state could not use a misdemeanor conviction at which he was not represented by an attorney to revoke his probation. The docket sheet was not entered.
Boyd then asked that the petition to revoke his probation be dismissed because the state had not proven his case but Guynn rejected the argument and sentenced Boyd to 36 months probation.
Writing for the high court, associate justice Raymond K. Abramson said that Boyd’s first point of appeal centered on the testimony of Frierson about the DWI conviction but had no direct knowledge of the arrest or the facts surrounding it. He also relied on a previous court decision which said that a municipal court conviction which takes place when the defendant did not have the services of an attorney can not be used to revoke probation.
“In this case we agree with Boyd that the evidence is insufficient to show that he committed a DWI offense and thus violated his probation,” Abramson wrote in the ruling. “Here the record is devoid of any evidence of Boyd’s DWI. The docket sheet was never admitted into court. The state asserts that the probation officer’s testimony is sufficient to support the revocation. We disagree.”