Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Clay County, Missouri. The Honorable Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge.
Daniel N. McPherson, Jefferson City, MO, for respondent.
Rebecca L. Kurz, Mission, KS, for appellant.
Before Division Three: Gary D. Witt, Presiding Judge, Joseph M. Ellis, Judge and Thomas H. Newton, Judge. All concur.
Gary D. Witt, Judge
Daniel Dumond Brown, Sr. (" Brown" ) was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County of two counts of robbery in the first degree under section 569.020, and two counts of armed criminal action under section 571.015. Brown was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for each count, with Count II running consecutive to Count I and Counts III and IV running concurrent to Count II. Brown appealed, alleging the trial court (1) plainly erred in denying his motion for a continuance
so that he could prepare to represent himself at trial, and (2) abused its discretion in denying his request for a mistrial. We affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On the evening of June 30, 2011, Brown told his former girlfriend, Brandi Scofield (" Scofield" ), to drive him to the Pizza Hut in Gladstone in her Suburban and pull into the parking lot. Then, Brown had Scofield call and order a pizza to be delivered to a nearby house then told her to park at an auto body shop close to the Pizza Hut. Brown left the vehicle and walked towards the Pizza Hut near closing time. Brown confronted Charles Sharp (" Sharp" ), the closing shift manager, outside of the restaurant. Another employee and witness, Dalton Lindsay, was in his vehicle in the parking lot of the Pizza Hut when the incident began. The only other employee, the delivery driver, was attempting to deliver the pizza Scofield ordered when Brown approached the restaurant. Brown demanded Sharp empty the cash register and open the safe to prove it was empty before Brown took the money and left on foot. Surveillance video from the nearby auto shop showed a dark-colored Suburban in the parking lot and Brown running back to the Suburban about ten minutes after leaving the vehicle, which coincided with the timeline of the robbery. Later that evening, Scofield observed Brown in her garage with cash laid out on a box.
On July 2, 2011, Brown had Scofield take him to the Arby's restaurant in Liberty shortly before the 11:00 p.m. closing time. Brown entered the restaurant and pointed a handgun at the manager, Charles Monk (" Monk" ), while demanding money from the cash register. Brown ordered Monk to open the safe while holding a handgun to the back of Monk's head. Monk could only open the part of the safe containing change and some paychecks, which Brown did not take. Brown then took the money from the drive-through cash register and left the restaurant. Brown returned to the Suburban where Scofield saw that Brown was carrying a silver handgun.
That same night, at 11:14 p.m., Liberty Police Officer Jeremy Loy (" Officer Loy" ), on patrol, noticed a Suburban being driven without its lights on. Officer Loy was following the vehicle when dispatch alerted him to the Arby's robbery. Officer Loy activated his emergency lights and siren but the vehicle continued driving until it eventually pulled into the parking lot of a Sutherland's store. Officer Loy ordered the occupants of the Suburban, later identified as Brown and Scofield, to get out and get on the ground. After they complied, Officer Loy noticed a large sum of cash next to Brown on the ground. Liberty Police Officer Dan King (" Officer King" ) arrived at the scene when Brown and Scofield were being ordered out of the Suburban. Officer King observed Brown pull money from his waistband and attempt to throw it under the Suburban.
During a search of the Suburban, Officer Loy discovered a purse containing a large amount of money on the floor and a loaded silver handgun in the glove compartment. A pair of shorts containing Brown's identification and cash in the pockets was later located in the backseat. Monk was ...