ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION
KAREN R. BAKER, Judge
ROGER STEVEN SHUFFIELD
STATE OF ARKANSAS
OCTOBER 11, 2006
APPEAL FROM THE GARLAND COUNTY
HONORABLE JOHN HOMER WRIGHT,
Appellant Roger Steven Shuffield was charged with first-degree murder, felony-firearm
enhancement by certain persons, and habitual offender. After the filing of these charges,
appellant was arrested for felony escape, possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver
and manufacture methamphetamine, manufacturing a controlled substance, and simultaneous
possession of drugs and firearms. On the motion of appellant, the court severed the charges of
murder and possession of firearm, and the State elected to try the possession charge first.
Appellant entered a guilty plea to the firearm-possession charge, and a jury was
empaneled to sentence appellant. During voir dire, the jury was asked whether they knew
anything about this case, but not whether they knew anything about appellant through the media.
After the hearing and deliberation, which lasted about twenty minutes, appellant was sentenced
to thirty years’ imprisonment by the jury. In the sentencing hearing, the State introduced
evidence that established that appellant had been convicted of armed robbery in California and
second-degree murder in Utah. It also established that appellant had killed a man in Garland
County, Arkansas, with the firearm he was charged with possessing.
Nine days after the jury’s sentence was delivered, appellant filed a motion for a new trial
on the sentencing supported by an affidavit from a jury member. A hearing on the motion was
held where the affiant jury member testified that after the jury had reached its decision, one jury
member mentioned that a newspaper article about appellant had been in the paper that morning.
The testimony revealed that no details of th