SUPREME COURT OF ARKANSAS
ROBERT L. WANN
STATE OF ARKANSAS
Opinion Delivered April 12, 2007
MOTION TO FILE A BELATED
RETURN; MOTION FOR BELATED
APPEAL; MOTION TO WITHDRAW
The Public Defender of the 12 Judicial District was appointed to represent Robert L.
Wann on a petition to revoke a suspended imposition of sentence. The circuit court
concluded that Wann violated the terms and conditions of his suspended sentence, and he was
sentenced to three years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with an additional
suspended imposition of sentence of three years. The circuit court entered a judgment and
commitment order on April 24, 2006. On January 11, 2007, we remanded this case, directing
the circuit court to settle the record as to whether Wann advised his trial counsel, Mr. John
Joplin and Ms. Rita Howard, that he wished to appeal within thirty days from the date the
judgment was entered. See Ark. R. App. P. – Crim. 2(e) (2006).
The circuit court was untimely in tendering the findings due to inclement weather on
the date of the scheduled hearing, January 31, 2007. The circuit court rescheduled the hearing
and conducted it on February 16, 2007. The circuit court, thereafter, entered an order, almost
a month later, on March 15, 2007, finding that Wann requested that his counsel file an appeal
within thirty days. Wann now asks that we grant a belated return of the circuit court’s finding.
We grant Wann’s motion to file the belated return and grant his request for a belated appeal.
Relief from the failure to perfect an appeal is provided as part of the appellate
procedure granting the right to an appeal. McDonald v. State, 356 Ark. 106, 146 S.W.3d 883
(2004). Under Ark. R. App. P. – Crim 16(a), once an attorney represents a defendant, the
attorney is obligated to continue representing the defendant until relieved by the appropriate
court. See Hammon v. State, 347 Ark. 267, 65 S.W.3d 853 (2002). There is no i