Tabor v. State

In Tabor v. State, 326 Ark. 51, 930 S.W.2d 319 (1996), the defendant appealed from a plea of guilty to three charges, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress statements he had given to police. The State moved to dismiss for failure to comply with Rule 24.3(b), and the court of appeals granted that motion. Thereafter, Tabor moved to reinstate the appeal, and it was stipulated that Tabor had, in fact, entered a conditional plea, and the court reporter had recorded it. The court of appeals remanded the case to the trial court to settle the record. The Arkansas Supreme Court granted the State's petition for review. In its decision reversing the court of appeals, the supreme court stated: "In the case now before us, there was no contemporaneous writing by Tabor reserving his right to appeal. Hence, Rule 24.3(b) was not strictly followed, and the Court of Appeals obtained no jurisdiction of the matter. Without jurisdiction, the Court of Appeals had no authority to remand the case to the trial court to settle the record. Moreover, the subsequent order by the trial court with the attached signed plea statement by Tabor entered after remand cannot breathe life into a moribund appeal where no jurisdiction originally vested." (326 Ark. at 55, 930 S.W.2d at 322.) The supreme court unequivocally stated the Court cannot breathe life into a flawed appeal from a conditional guilty plea where no jurisdiction is vested. In a subsequent case, however, the supreme court did not preclude Tabor's efforts to appeal the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress. In Tabor v. State, 333 Ark. 429, 432, 971 S.W.2d 227, 229 (1998), the court stated: "Following this court's dismissal of the appeal, Appellant successfully petitioned the trial court to withdraw his guilty pleas pursuant to A.R.Cr.P. Rule 26.1. He then entered a conditional plea to the same charges on January 10, 1997, this time reserving in writing his right to appeal the trial court's ruling on his motion to suppress in compliance with Rule 24.3."