In a pair of opinions issued on Wednesday, Feb. 27, the Arkansas Court of Appeals gave Roderick Montgomery 15 days to file new briefs in his appeal of three Ashley County and four Drew County crimes.
Montgomery pleaded guilty to the charges from the two counties in a session before Circuit Judge Sam Pope in March, 2018.
In the Ashley County cases, a jury sentenced Montgomery to prison on three counts of delivery of methamphetamine. The judge set a penalty of 10 years on one case and three years each on the other two cases, all to run consecutively. The Drew County charges and sentences include delivery of methamphetamine, 10 years; possession of a defaced firearm, six years; possession of a firearm by a felon while in the commission of a new offense, 15 years; and use of a communication device in the commission of a drug offense, three years.
In his appeal of the sentences, Montgomery alleged that the state violated a plea agreement by alluding to additional crimes in the prosecutor’s closing argument and implying that appellant had sold drugs more than “five times” and had committed more crimes than those to which he pleaded guilty. The state rejected Montgomery’s arguments. Because the appeal abstract is “incomplete and misleading” the court’s opinion said that it was impossible to review the issues. The court then allowed Montgomery 15 days to re-file his brief.
Also, in the Drew County cases, the jury forms do not appear in either the record or the addendum of the appellant’s brief, so the court ordered a supplement to the record.
The court noted that if Montgomery fails to correct the deficiencies within 15 days, the sentencing opinions may be affirmed for noncompliance with the rules.
Montgomery, 25, is being held in the Wrightsville Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction.