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09/28/93 STATE MISSOURI v. RONALD TROUPE

September 28, 1993

STATE OF MISSOURI, PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT,
v.
RONALD TROUPE, DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. Honorable Daniel T. Tillman.

Carl R. Gaertner, Judge, Kathianne Knaup Crane, J., and Paul J. Simon, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gaertner

Defendant was found guilty at a jury trial of kidnapping, sodomy, and two counts of assault. As a prior and persistent offender, he was sentenced by the court to concurrent sentences of thirty years, thirty years, one year, and one year. Defendant appeals. We affirm

Defendant's first point on appeal asserts trial court error in failing to quash the jury panel because the State used a peremptory strike against a black venireman without explanation. The State agreed that the case should be remanded on this point for a Batson hearing. *fn1 Accordingly, we remanded the case to the trial court where a hearing was held and defendant's motion to quash was denied. A transcript of the evidence adduced and supplemental briefs were filed, and the appeal was again taken under submission on August 31, 1993.

Defendant and the victim of the kidnapping and sodomy charges, a twelve-year old boy, became acquainted when the victim brought his bicycle to defendant for repairs. Over a period of several weeks, defendant called the victim to report he was working on the bike. On one occasion defendant told the victim he had raped a boy just like him.

On August 11, 1991, defendant was showing a Chevrolet Blazer to victim and his friend Rudy. When victim refused to get in the Blazer, defendant grabbed him and threatened to shoot him. Defendant pulled victim into the Blazer and drove off. Rudy ran and reported what he had seen to another friend who called the police. William Tidwell testified that he was cutting his grass in the neighborhood when he observed a boy calling out from a Blazer, "somebody please help me, don't let them hurt me."

The victim testified that after driving around in the Blazer, defendant put him in the back seat, made him take down his pants and, after using spittle as a lubricant, inserted his penis into victim's anus. Defendant made victim drink some "orange stuff" and some beer. He gave victim a brown, wet cigarette and told him to smoke it.

Eventually, the Blazer was seen by police who gave chase. The Blazer crashed into a lamp post causing victim to sustain injuries. Police officers apprehended defendant as he ran from the scene. He assaulted the officers when apprehended and in the ambulance which conveyed him to the hospital.

At the hospital, a sexual assault kit was used to obtain an anal smear from victim. Analysis of the smear disclosed the presence of seminal fluid.

Over defendant's objections, the trial court admitted into evidence court records of defendant's plea of guilty to a charge of sodomizing a twelve-year old boy five years before.

On appeal, defendant raises seven points of alleged trial court error. He contends the striking of one black prospective juror was a violation of defendant's and the juror's due process and equal protection rights. He claims the trial court erred in denying his motion to quash the indictment because the selection of grand and petit jurors in the City of St. Louis did not result in a representative cross-section of the populace. He preserves the universal challenge to MAI-CR3d 302.04, the burden of proof instruction. He argues the State was permitted to improperly define "reasonable doubt" during voir dire. He claims prejudicial error resulted from the admission of evidence regarding his prior sodomy conviction, from the evidence he forced victim to ingest PCP and from the State's closing argument.

I.

At the belated Batson hearing, the prosecutor offered race-neutral explanations for striking one black venireman and one black alternate. The trial court accepted these explanations. After examining the record we find no abuse of trial court discretion. Moreover, the defendant's motion to quash the entire jury panel is an improper objection for a Batson violation and fails to preserve the point for appellate review. State v. Grim, ...


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