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Obasogie v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, First Division

December 2, 2014

OMORUYI OBASOGIE, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent

Page 794

Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County. Hon. Robert S. Cohen.

Matthew Huckeby, St. Louis, MO, for appellant.

Richard Anthony Starnes, Jefferson City, MO, for respondent.

CLIFFORD H. AHRENS, Judge. Lawrence E. Mooney, P.J., concurs. Glenn A. Norton, J., concurs.

OPINION

CLIFFORD H. AHRENS, Judge.

Page 795

Omoruyi Obasogie (" Movant" ) appeals from the judgment of the motion court that denied his motion for post-conviction relief after an evidentiary hearing. Finding no error, we affirm.

At about 1:00 a.m. on November 2, 2009, Movant, Anwar Randle, and an unidentified man broke into a home occupied by Cameron Bass and Kena Coleman, who were asleep at the time. Both Bass and Coleman knew Randle but did not know Movant or the third man. Bass and Coleman awoke, and Coleman went into the hallway to investigate while Bass hid in the bedroom closet. Coleman first saw Randle coming out of a bedroom door. The lights were on in the laundry room and in the kitchen. Coleman then saw Movant and the third man, armed with a small handgun and a shotgun respectively, enter her home through the back door. She screamed at them to get out of her house. Randle shoved Movant into her bedroom. Movant and Randle then entered the bedroom looking for Bass. Movant pointed the handgun at Bass and told him to get out of the closet. Movant fired the gun but struck no one. Bass fled through the closet into an adjacent bedroom. Randle and the unidentified man pursued him and beat him with the butt of a shotgun and a glass bottle. Eventually, the three intruders left.

Bass then called the police. The resulting police dispatch stated that three black males had entered a residence and shots had been fired. A St. Louis County police officer observed three black males, Movant and the other two intruders, driving in the area. The officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. Movant, who was driving the car, pulled over, and the unidentified man exited and fled on foot. Movant and Randle remained in the car and sped away at high speed. They were later apprehended by multiple police officers in a parking lot.

Movant was charged with burglary in the first degree (Count I), assault in the first degree (Count III), and two counts of armed criminal action associated with the other felonies (Counts II and IV). At trial, the State cross-examined Movant regarding his prior convictions. Movant's counsel objected to the State's examination on this point. After a sidebar discussion, the court asked the prosecutor to stop questioning Movant about the convictions, to which the prosecutor agreed. At closing argument, the State made two points, among others. First, as to the unnamed third perpetrator who escaped arrest, the State argued that Movant or his counsel knew Randle's current residence, and that Randle knew the identity of the third perpetrator. Second, the State asked the jurors to determine whose testimony had been truthful: that of Coleman and Bass or, rather, Movant. The jury convicted him of burglary in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and two counts of armed criminal action. Movant was sentenced to three 12-year sentences and one 7-year sentence, all to be served concurrently.

Movant appealed, asserting four points of error. This Court affirmed Movant's convictions in State v. Obasogie, 370 S.W.3d 888 (Mo. App. 2012). Movant timely filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Rule 29.15, subsequently amended by appointed counsel. Chief

Page 796

among Movant's allegations was that appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to assert a claim of insufficiency of the evidence regarding Count II, the armed criminal action count ...


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