ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION
JOHN B. ROBBINS, JUDGE
SAMANTHA ANNE MITCHELL
STATE OF ARKANSAS
FEBRUARY 6, 2008
APPEAL FROM THE BENTON
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
HONORABLE DAVID S. CLINGER,
Appellant Samantha Anne Mitchell appeals her conviction for the seconddegree
murder of a fourmonthold infant (DS), who was found unresponsive in an infant swing at
her inhome daycare. She was tried before a jury in Benton County Circuit Court.
Appellant’s arguments for reversal are that: (1) there is insufficient evidence to support her
conviction; (2) the trial court abused its discretion in allowing witnesses to refer to the
constellation of injuries as “shaken baby syndrome” or synonymous terms; and (3) the trial
court abused its discretion in permitting a State’s witness to use a video demonstration. We
have considered her arguments but find no reversible error in the trial court’s rulings.
Therefore, we affirm.
First, appellant contends that there is insufficient evidence to support her conviction
because the State failed to prove the requisite mens rea. We treat a motion for directed
verdict as a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. See Tubbs v. State, 370 Ark. 47,
__ S.W.3d __ (2007). In reviewing a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, we
determine whether the verdict is supported by substantial evidence, direct or circumstantial.
See id. Substantial evidence is evidence forceful enough to compel a conclusion one way or
the other beyond suspicion or conjecture. See id. This court views the evidence in the light
most favorable to the verdict, and only evidence supporting the verdict will be considered.
The jury was instructed to determine whether appellant committed seconddegree
murder by finding whether she knowingly caused the death of DS under circumstances
manifesting extreme indiffer