Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF HICKORY COUNTY. Honorable Michael C. Dawson, Associate Circuit Judge.
For Appellant: JEFFREY C. SOWASH, Bolivar, MO.
For Respondent: ROBERT J. BARTHOLOMEW JR., Jefferson City, MO.
MARY W. SHEFFIELD, P.J. - OPINION AUTHOR. GARY W. LYNCH, J. - CONCURS. DON E. BURRELL, J. - CONCURS.
Lonnie Eugene Hogsett (" Defendant" ) appeals from his conviction for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. See § 577.060. He claims (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction and (2) the trial court erred in failing to grant a mistrial when a witness referred to Defendant's prior conviction. These arguments are without merit, and Defendant's conviction is affirmed.
Factual and Procedural Background
On February 23, 2012, Danny Rhoades (" Rhoades" ) and his wife were driving through Hickory County when Rhoades saw a body on the side of the road. Rhoades asked his wife to turn around, and they went back to the body. No one was present, and Rhoades did not observe any signs of life in the body. Rhoades went to a nearby convenience store where he called 911 at 7:37 p.m.
Defendant arrived at the home of his father, Gene Hogsett (" Father" ), at about 7:30 that evening. Defendant told Father, " Mom's laying [sic] dead on the highway going out of town[.]" Defendant left Father's home when Father told Defendant he was going to call 911. Father and Defendant's step-mother called 911 at 7:30 p.m. and then went out to the highway where Father was able to identify the body of his ex-wife who was also Defendant's Mother, Joletta Hogsett (" Victim" ). Father was unable to find a pulse, and Victim's body was getting cold.
Hickory County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Burke (" Deputy Burke" ) arrived on the scene about ten or fifteen minutes after Father. Defendant was not at the scene. Father spoke with Deputy Burke. The Hickory County coroner examined Victim's body and observed " extensive injuries to the head and side of the face."
At approximately 9:30 that evening, Defendant arrived at a local bar. While at the bar, Defendant spoke with Randy Perry (" Perry" ). Defendant told Perry he had gotten into an argument with Victim, and Victim had jumped out of his truck. Defendant also stated he left the scene because he was worried about getting a DUI.
Meanwhile, after completing his investigation at the scene, Deputy Burke began looking for Defendant. Deputy Burke was not able to locate Defendant at Defendant's home. About 40 minutes after leaving the scene, Deputy Burke received a tip that ...