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State v. Spencer

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fifth Division

August 19, 2014

STATE OF MISSOURI, Appellant,
v.
JOHN TORREZ SPENCER, JR., Respondent

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the City of Saint Louis. 1322-CR01421-01. Honorable Mark H. Neill.

John J. Coatar, St. Louis, MO, for appellant.

Travis L. Noble, Jr., Sr. Louis, MO, for respondent.

Gary M. Gaertner, Jr., Judge. Robert M. Clayton III, P. J., concurs. Gary A. Kamp, S. J., concurs.

OPINION

Page 531

Gary M. Gaertner, Jr., Judge.

INTRODUCTION

The State of Missouri (State) takes an interlocutory appeal from the trial court's granting of defendant John Torrez Spencer, Jr.'s (Defendant) motion to suppress evidence. Due to the fact that the trial court in a bench trial had taken evidence and had concluded the trial, this Court is required to dismiss the State's appeal on the grounds of double jeopardy.

FACTS

In summary, police officers of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (" Officers" ) responded to a domestic violence call, where they observed a woman standing outside a locked apartment. The woman (Victim) alleged that she was the girlfriend of the Defendant who had struck her. Victim claimed that she lived in the apartment, but did not have a key and the Defendant had locked her out. The Officers ran a computer check on the Defendant which revealed that he was currently wanted, but the Officers did not run any checks to determine if the Victim lived in the apartment. The Officers who were standing in the street allowed the Victim to kick in the apartment's door and the Officers arrested the Defendant when he came out. The Officers searched the Defendant, revealing the presence of valium and marijuana. The State charged the Defendant with felony possession of diazepam (valium) and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

The Defendant waived his right to a jury trial. The trial court took the Defendant's

Page 532

motion to suppress evidence with the bench trial. The State and Defendant made opening statements, and the State then presented two Officers who testified and were also cross-examined by Defendant. At the close of the State's evidence, Defendant moved for acquittal at the close of the State's case and asserted his motion to suppress the evidence. After the parties argued their respective positions, the trial judge stated, " Very Well. I'm going to grant the motion to suppress the evidence, and that will conclude this ...


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