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State v. Mammah

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

November 5, 2014

STATE OF MISSOURI, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
RODWIN OJURM MAMMAH, Defendant-Appellant

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY. Honorable Calvin R. Holden, Circuit Judge.

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

GABRIEL E. HARRIS, Jefferson City, MO, for Respondent.

DON E. BURRELL, J. - OPINION AUTHOR. MARY W. SHEFFIELD, P.J. - CONCURS. GARY W. LYNCH, J. - CONCURS.

OPINION

DON E. BURRELL, J.

After a bench trial, Rodwin Ojurm Mammah (" Defendant" ) was found guilty of felony driving while intoxicated (" DWI" ) and received a four-year suspended sentence. See sections 577.010 and 577.023.[1] Defendant now appeals his conviction, contending that " the evidence failed to establish that [he] was under the influence of alcohol at the time he was operating the motor vehicle." [2] Because the challenged factual proposition was supported by sufficient evidence, we affirm.

Applicable Principles of Review

In reviewing the sufficiency of evidence in a bench trial of a criminal case, we apply the same standard of review as applied in a jury-tried case; we determine whether the State presented sufficient evidence from which a trier of fact could have reasonably found the defendant guilty; and in so doing, we examine the evidence and inferences in the light most favorable to the verdict, ignoring all contrary evidence and inferences.

State v. Brown, 360 S.W.3d 919, 922 (Mo. App. W.D. 2012). " The credibility and weight of testimony are for the fact-finder to determine. The fact-finder may believe all, some, or none of the testimony of a witness when considered with the facts, circumstances and other testimony in the case." State v. Crawford, 68 S.W.3d 406, 408 (Mo. banc 2002) (citation omitted). Where there is conflicting evidence, we presume that the fact-finder resolved the conflict in favor of the ultimate finding, and we defer to that resolution. State v. Chaney, 967 S.W.2d 47, 53 (Mo. banc 1998). The following summary of the relevant facts is presented in accordance with these principles.

Facts and Procedural Background

On February 18, 2012, Springfield police officer Zachary Schlup responded to an early morning[3] report that a vehicle was at an intersection with the driver " asleep behind the wheel." When Officer Schlup arrived at the intersection, he observed Defendant inside a four-door truck that was stopped in the inside lane of traffic. The truck's engine was running, and Officer Schlup could see that the vehicle " was still in drive." Although Defendant's " eyes were closed, his head was resting on his chest, and he was drooling[,]" Defendant " was still applying pressure to the brakes."

Officer Schlup " banged on the window several times and tried to yell at him," but Defendant did not respond. When another officer arrived and watched Defendant, Officer Schlup turned on his patrol car's siren and air horn. Defendant " still didn't wake up." After an ambulance arrived, its air horns were also activated, but Defendant remained asleep. Officer Schlup finally " shook the entire vehicle and that jarred [Defendant] awake."

Officer Schlup instructed Defendant " to roll down the window," and Defendant " rolled down the back driver's side window, not his driver's window." The officer reached in, unlocked the driver's " door, opened the door, put the vehicle in park, and turned off the ignition." Officer Schlup asked Defendant " if he was okay," but Defendant did not respond. Officer Schlup asked Defendant to exit the vehicle. As Defendant ...


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