Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jefferson County. Honorable Gary P. Kramer.
For appellant: Elizabeth U. Carlyle, Kansas City, MO.
For respondent: Dora A. Fichter, Assistant Attorney General, Jefferson City, MO.
Roy L. Richter, J., and
Robert M. Clayton III, J., concur.
Patricia L. Cohen,
Jeffery Place (Movant) appeals the judgment of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County denying his Rule 29.15 motion for post-conviction relief following an evidentiary hearing. Movant claims that the motion court erred in denying his claims that trial counsel was ineffective in: (1) advising him not to testify in his own defense; and (2) failing to call two defense witnesses. We affirm.
Factual and Procedural Background
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence at trial revealed the following: On September 8, 2007, while Movant drove his wife Monica Place home from a party, Movant punched her in the mouth three times and slammed her head into the dash board. He then " put his hand around [her] neck and choked [her]" until she " passed out."
When Movant and Ms. Place arrived home, Ms. Place went inside to call her cousin then returned to the front porch. Movant exited the garage wearing a bullet-proof vest, holding a handgun and AK-47, and carrying another handgun in a holster. Ms. Place ran to her van and called 911. When Movant ordered her out of the van, she complied and asked him to " put down the guns." Movant placed the guns on the porch and pushed Ms. Place across the yard.
At this point, Deputy Carl Beier arrived. Ms. Place ran toward Deputy Beier and told him that Movant had loaded weapons on him, and continued running, crossing the yard of her neighbor, William Graham. Seeing Ms. Place in his yard, Mr. Graham walked to Movant's house to inquire about what was happening. Mr. Graham took Movant's AK-47 from him and returned home.
Deputy Beier retrieved his shotgun from the trunk of his patrol vehicle and found " an area of cover" behind a tree. When Deputy Beier ordered Movant not to move, Movant replied " who the fuck do you think you are, Superman" and walked to, and entered, Mr. Graham's house to retrieve the AK-47. Movant exited the house with the AK-47, and Deputy Beier continued to order Movant to the ground. Movant refused and " began firing[,]" causing bullets to hit the tree in front of Deputy Beier. Deputy Beier returned fire " a couple of times" in between Movant " shooting the bursts at [him]." Then Movant " shot at [him] in a fully automatic mode" and " ...