The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday, June 5, issued three opinions involving two Ashley County Circuit Court defendants.
The court ruled in a case involving Lazzerick Black’s appeal of a decision in which the Ashley County Circuit Court had revoked his probation. Gary Potts, who represented Black, filed a brief stating that there “were no meritorious grounds” to support an appeal. He asked also that he be relieved as the attorney in the case. Judge Waymond M. Brown wrote a majority opinion to dismiss the appeal and to relieve Potts as the attorney.
Black, initially charged with one count of a terroristic act and one count of first degree battery, eventually pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault. He was placed on probation for 72 months and ordered to pay court costs, fees and, with a co-defendant, $1,247.53 in other costs.
The state charged that Black violated the terms of his parole, failed to report to officers, tested positive for alcohol, marijuana and cocaine, was behind in payments on his supervision fee and alleged that he had committed new felonies.
As a result, the circuit court with Judge Robert
Bynum Gibson Jr. presiding, found Black had violated parole conditions and sentenced him to 36 months in prison for aggravated assault.
In the latest action, the Ark. Court of Appeals found that the action to revoke probation was proper and that there were no valid grounds for appeal. The Ark. Department of Correction web site does not list Black as a current inmate.
Two other opinions involve Demorcus L. Smith, now 33 years old, both written by Rita W. Gruber, the chief judge. Judge Gibson also heard those cases with Potts as the defense attorney.
The cases involve one hearing conducted for two cases and resulted in a sentence of eight years in prison after a guilty plea for second degree sexual assault. The second part of the proceeding was a probation revocation because Smith had not registered as a sex offender. The appeals court ordered Potts to submit corrections in briefs for the two cases.
Unless there are other proceedings, Smith should complete his term in December. He is being held in Pine Bluff at the Barbara Ester Unit of the state prison system.