STATE OF ARKANSAS
MARCH 12, 2008
APPEAL FROM THE VAN BUREN
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
[NO. CR-04-35 & CR-04-120]
HON. DAVID L. REYNOLDS,
REVERSED and REMANDED
Appellant Anne Throneberry was charged with capital murder and kidnapping in the
death of her husband, and with hindering apprehension of her two co-defendants. She was
tried by a jury and was convicted of manslaughter, kidnapping, and hindering apprehension.
She does not challenge the convictions on appeal. She contends only that the trial court
abused its discretion by overruling the jury’s recommendation that her sentences run
concurrently and by running them consecutively instead. We agree, and we reverse and
remand for re-sentencing.
“Multiple sentences of imprisonment imposed on a defendant convicted of more than
one offense . . . shall run concurrently unless, upon recommendation of the jury or the court’s
own motion, the court orders the sentences to run consecutively.” Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-
403(a) (Repl. 2006). The court is not bound by the jury’s sentencing recommendation, and
1 The issue before the Eighth Circuit was whether the district court, in departing
from federal sentencing guidelines, abused its discretion to an unreasonable extent.
it is not required to explain its reason for running sentences consecutively. Ark. Code Ann.
§ 5-4-403(d); Pyle v. State, 340 Ark. 53, 8 S.W.3d 491 (2000). The question of whether to
impose consecutive or concurrent sentences lies solely within the province of the trial court,
and the appellant assumes a heavy burden of demonstrating that the judge failed to give due
consideration to the exercise of discretion in the matter of consecutive sentences. Id.
We find guidance applicable to the parameters of a trial court’s discretion in U.S. v.
Haack, 403 F.3d 997 (8th Cir. 2005). 1 The Haack court, applying the abuse-of-discretion
standard, cited Kern v. TXO Production Corp., 738 F.2d 968, (8th Cir. 1984