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State v. Brown

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

August 15, 2014

STATE OF MISSOURI, Plaintiff-Respondent,
FRANKIE LEE BROWN, Defendant-Appellant

Page 501

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY. Honorable Thomas E. Mountjoy, Circuit Judge.

AMY M. BARTHOLOW, Columbia, MO, for Appellant.

SHAUN J. MACKELPRANG, Jefferson City, MO, for Respondent.



Page 502


A jury found Appellant Frankie Lee Brown (" Defendant" ) guilty of six of ten alleged crimes, and the trial court thereafter sentenced him, as a persistent offender, to life imprisonment for attempted forcible rape, 20 years for first-degree burglary, 15 years for felonious restraint, 15 years for tampering with a motor vehicle, one year for misdemeanor attempted knowingly burning, and 15 days for misdemeanor first-degree trespass.[1] All sentences were concurrent, except for the life sentence, which was ordered to run consecutively to the others.

In this direct appeal of his convictions and sentences, Defendant first contends, " The trial court plainly erred in accepting the jury's verdicts and sentencing [him] . . . because this violated [his] right to due process and effective assistance of counsel[.]" This claim is based on Defendant's assertions that: 1) he was misinformed that the charges against him " could either run concurrently or consecutively, when, in reality, any conviction on [Count II for attempted forcible rape] would have had to run consecutively to any convictions on"

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any other counts arising from the same incident; and 2) he would have accepted the State's plea offer of 17 years on Count II and the dismissal of " five of the ten charges" instead of going to trial " had he been correctly informed[.]"

Defendant's second point claims the trial court erred in overruling his motion to suppress statements he made to officers about the alleged crimes and later allowing evidence of the statements to be introduced at trial. The point maintains that these unspecified " statements" were " presumptively coerced" as an officer " elicited them during a custodial interrogation without first advising [Defendant] of his constitutional rights to assistance of counsel and protection against compelled self-incrimination." It also claims " [t]he statements were prejudicial because they confirmed that [Defendant] was at M.M.'s [" Victim" ] house on other occasions, and that he knew how to get into the house."

Finding no merit in Defendant's claims, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural Background

Defendant does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions, and we accordingly direct our attention to those facts necessary to address his specific complaints on appeal.[2] In doing so, we review " the evidence presented at trial in the light most favorable to the verdict[s]." State v. Strong, 142 S.W.3d 702, 710 (Mo. banc 2004).

Sometime around March 2011, Defendant and Victim began an intimate, romantic relationship that lasted about two months. Toward the end of that relationship, they " ended up" staying in the home of Victim's mother, where they " started having problems and split up." Victim told Defendant, " you've got to go," but Defendant told her that " he wasn't going to go." Victim obtained an ex parte order of protection against Defendant, who left " about a week and a half or so later[.]"

The June 26th Incident

On June 26, 2011, at around 1:30 a.m., Victim awoke and heard something downstairs. Her mother and sister were gone, and her children were asleep. Victim " said, 'Who's there?'" Someone replied, " 'It's me[,]'" and Defendant " came from the living room. . . . up the stairs . . . into [Victim's] bedroom." Victim told Defendant that he was " not supposed to be here." Victim " kept telling him he needed to leave, and eventually he got angry with [her]." Victim tried to " get to [her] phone[,]" but Defendant grabbed it and put it in his pocket. Defendant did not allow Victim to leave the room.

Victim was trying to get away from Defendant, and they were " all over the room just, you know, fighting." Victim eventually wound up on the floor, and Defendant removed her shorts and underwear. Defendant slapped Victim and bent her hands back. Defendant called Victim " a slut" and " a whore[.]" Defendant touched his penis to the outside of Victim's vagina, but he did not have an erection, and he did not penetrate Victim's vagina. Eventually, Defendant, who Victim believed to be " very intoxicated," " fell to the floor and just did not get back up[.]" At that point (about 4:30 a.m.), Victim " was able to get out of the room and call the police."

Springfield Police Officer Brandon Bowling was dispatched to Victim's address at around 4:40 a.m., where he found Victim standing on the front porch. " She seemed shaken, [and she] appeared as if

Page 504

she'd been crying." Officer Bowling found Defendant lying asleep on Victim's bedroom floor. The officer awakened Defendant and placed him under arrest. As the officer was removing Defendant from the residence, Defendant said that " he was going to kill [Victim]." On the way to the jail, Defendant volunteered a statement to Officer Bowling " along the lines of he's not going down for burglary, even if he's got to kill someone."

After deliberating upon this evidence, the jury found Defendant guilty of attempted forcible rape (Count II), felonious restraint (Count III), and burglary (Count IV). The jury found Defendant not guilty of attempted forcible ...

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