ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
JOSEPHINE LINKER HART, JUDGE
JOHN H. LAXTON, JR.
STATE OF ARKANSAS
May 9, 2007
APPEAL FROM THE CRITTENDEN
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
[NO. CR-2003-966, CR-2003-979]
HON. CHARLES DAVID BURNETT
AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED
John H. Laxton, Jr., had two charges filed against him in Crittenden County. On
January 4, 2004, in exchange for his cases being transferred to Crittenden County Drug
Court, Laxton pled guilty to theft of property, a Class B felony, in CR-2003-966 and second-
degree forgery, a Class C felony, in CR-2003-979. As part of the plea, Laxton agreed that
if he did not successfully complete drug court, he would face commitment to the Arkansas
Department of Correction for six years in the forgery case and ten years’ suspended imposition
of sentence in the theft case.
Laxton’s cases were transferred to drug court on January 8, 2004. He failed to
complete the requirements of drug court, and on July 3, 2006, he was sentenced in
accordance with his plea agreement. On appeal, Laxton argues that the trial court committed
reversible error by denying his motion for jail-time credit. We affirm as modified.
We know from Laxton’s brief that a court reporter was not present for the
proceedings in Drug Court. We are mindful that in Williams v. State, 362 Ark. 416, 208
S.W.3d 761 (2005), the supreme court explicitly stated that the trial court’s failure to make
a verbatim record of the proceedings violated Administrative Order No. 4, and that
practice would not be tolerated. The Williams court stated:
Our Administrative Order No. 4 provides: “Unless waived on the record by
the parties, it shall be the duty of any circuit court to require that a verbatim
record be made of all proceedings pertaining to any contested matter before
it.” This court recently put the bench and bar on notice that it would
henceforth strictly construe and apply Administrative Order No. 4.
However, because we need not examine the nature of the so-called “sancti