As a third point for appeal, appellant argues that the circuit court erred in refusing
to grant a mistrial after a witness for the State testified that appellant was “locked up.”
During the colloquy with the court, however, the State observed that the comment by the
witness was inadvertent. Given this, we do not address the issue, as it is not likely to
recur on retrial.
STATE OF ARKANSAS
March 21, 2007
APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
HONORABLE MARION ANDREW
HUMPHREY, CIRCUIT JUDGE
REVERSED AND REMANDED
JOSEPHINE LINKER HART, Judge
A jury found appellant, Johnny Stephens, guilty of first-degree murder in the death
of Jamar Jordan. On appeal, appellant argues that the circuit court erred by permitting the
State to introduce as substantive evidence a witness’s prior inconsistent statement and by
permitting a witness to testify that he called appellant’s pager for the purpose of purchasing
drugs from appellant. We conclude that this evidence was erroneously admitted, and
accordingly, we reverse and remand for a new trial.1
During the trial, the State called as a witness Dedrick Weems. Weems testified that
he knew appellant and the victim, Jamar Jordan. The State asked Weems about a statement
he gave to Little Rock Police Department Detective Keith Cockrell. Weems testified that the
statement was untruthful, that he had only stated to Cockrell what another detective told him
to state, and that he did not know if appellant shot Jordan.
The State then offered the statement into evidence. A transcript of Weems’s statement
begins by Cockrell stating that a deputy prosecuting attorney, Jack McQuary, was present.
McQuary then placed Weems under oath and told him that, if he did not tell the truth to
Cockrell, he could be prosecuted for false swearing or perjury. Following this, McQuary
stated, “Okay, at this time I will be leaving the interview.” Cockrell then questioned Weems.
To summarize the interview, We