from Montgomery Circuit Court (CC-14-1214).
Rashad Wright appeals from the Montgomery Circuit Court's
revocation of his probation. The record indicates that in
February 2015 Wright pleaded guilty to receiving stolen
property in the second degree. The circuit court sentenced
Wright to 61 months' imprisonment, split to serve 12
months' imprisonment followed by 3 years' supervised
12, 2018, Wright's probation officer filed a delinquency
report alleging that Wright had violated the terms and
conditions of his probation based on his arrest on a new
criminal charge of murder. The circuit court conducted a
probation-revocation hearing on August 21, 2018, at which
Wright was represented by counsel. At the hearing, probation
officer Nicki Givhan testified that she was not Wright's
"actual probation officer" but that she had
assisted in the supervision of Wright. (R. 3.) Officer Givhan
testified that Wright was informed of the terms and
conditions of his probation, which included not being charged
with another criminal offense. Wright acknowledged that he
understood the conditions of his probation by signing an
"Order of Probation." A copy of the Order of
Probation and a copy of the delinquency report prepared by
Wright's probation officer were admitted into evidence at
the probation-revocation hearing.
J.D. Stokes, a homicide investigator with the Montgomery
Police Department, testified that he was assigned to
investigate a murder that occurred on May 26, 2018, on East
South Boulevard in Montgomery. Corporal Stokes testified that
Michael Garland was being belligerent during an anniversary
party when he was asked to leave. When Garland reached the
door of his vehicle, Cpl. Stokes testified, Wright and others
surrounded Garland's vehicle, engaged in a verbal
altercation with Garland, and produced firearms, and,
subsequently, Garland was shot to death. Another person
standing across the parking lot from Garland's vehicle
was shot but did not die from his injuries.
Stokes testified that, after the shooting, a witness came
forward who identified Wright as a participant in the
shooting. Wright was subsequently arrested. Corporal Stokes
testified that he questioned Wright following his arrest.
After waiving his Miranda rights, Wright gave a
statement in which he confirmed that he was at the party
during the shooting but denied being outside when the
shooting occurred. Wright told Corporal Stokes that he was
inside the building when the shooting took place and that his
mother was inside the building with him at the time the
shooting occurred. Corporal Stokes subsequently questioned
Wright's mother. According to Corporal Stokes,
Wright's mother told him that she was inside when the
shooting started but that she went outside during the
shooting, retrieved her son, and brought him inside for
safety. Corporal Stokes concluded that Wright was outside
during the exact time of the shooting. Corporal Stokes
testified that Wright stated that he left with his mother in
his mother's vehicle after the shooting. Corporal Stokes
asked Wright why he did not stay and talk to police, but
Wright did not answer the question.
cross-examination, Corporal Stokes testified that he had no
physical evidence that linked Wright with the shooting. At
the time of the probation-revocation hearing, ballistic
reports relating to the shooting had not come back from the
Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
Shannon, a homicide investigator investigating the murder,
testified that he took a statement from Carlos Davis, a
witness who had contacted police and stated that he had
information in reference to the May 26, 2018, murder.
Detective Shannon spoke with Davis, who told police that
Garland became belligerent and left the party. Davis told
Detective Shannon that Wright and another man, Amos Parks,
pulled out a gun and shot Garland while Garland was walking
toward his vehicle. Davis identified Wright and Amos from a
photographic lineup "as the two people he saw shooting
on the scene." (R. 19.)
conclusion of the hearing, the circuit court entered an order
revoking Wright's probation. In its order, the circuit
court stated that it was reasonably satisfied from the
evidence and testimony presented that Wright committed the
new offense of murder in violation of the terms and
conditions of his probation. The court ordered Wright to
serve the balance of his sentence in the custody of the
Alabama Department of Corrections. This appeal followed.
contends that the circuit court abused its discretion by
revoking his probation based solely on hearsay evidence.
Wright argues that the circuit court relied on hearsay
evidence that originated from nontestifying witnesses who
Wright was not allowed to confront and cross-examine in
violation of his due-process rights.
following evidentiary standard applies to a
"'"Probation or suspension of sentence comes as
an act of grace to one convicted of, or pleading guilty to, a
crime. A proceeding to revoke probation is not a criminal
prosecution, and we have no statute requiring a formal trial.
Upon a hearing of this character, the court is not bound by
strict rules of evidence, and the alleged violation of a
valid condition of probation need not be proven beyond a
"Martin v. State, 46 Ala.App. 310, 312, 241
So.2d 339, 341 (Ala.Crim.App.1970)(quoting State v.
Duncan, 270 N.C. 241, 154 S.E.2d 53 (1967)(citation
omitted)). Under that standard, the trial court need
'only to be reasonably satisfied from the evidence that
the probationer has violated the conditions of his
probation.' Armstrong v. State, 294 Ala. 100,
103, 312 So.2d 620, 623 (1975). Absent a clear abuse of
discretion, a reviewing court will not disturb the trial
court's conclusions. See Moo ...