Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
Appeal from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. Honorable Steven R. Ohmer.
Andrew C. Hooper, Jefferson City, MO, For Plaintiff/Respondent.
Amy E. Lowe, St. Louis, MO, For Defendant/Appellant.
Sherri B. Sullivan, P.J. Mary K. Hoff, J., and Philip M. Hess, J., concur.
Sherri B. Sullivan, P.J.
James Chaney (Appellant) appeals from the trial court's judgment entered after a bench trial convicting him of stealing over $500 as a prior and persistent offender. We reverse and remand.
Factual and Procedural Background
The evidence adduced at trial, viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, is as follows.
On the morning of November 28, 2012, John O'Daniel (O'Daniel) was driving in the area of 900 Angelica Street, when he saw two men removing a fence from the road. One man was loading a roll of fence into the back of a truck while the other man was cutting fence from the post. O'Daniel recognized the truck, a black Dodge with a white emblem on the back window, from the neighborhood. O'Daniel called 911 and gave the operator descriptions of the men and the truck, including the truck's license plate number.
Police Officers Lisa Toedte and Scott Rose responded to the area. The officers canvassed the local scrapyards, locating the truck at a scrapyard shortly thereafter. Officer Rose spoke with the two subjects, one of whom was Appellant, while
Officer Toedte went inside the scrapyard. Immediately upon entering the yard, Officer Toedte saw a roll of fencing. Officer Toedte spoke with the manager of the scrapyard, who provided her with a property receipt with Appellant's signature at the bottom for a roll of fencing he had just scrapped. Officer Rose arrested Appellant. After being placed under arrest, Appellant stated " that the fence was partially down and he just took the rest of it." Officer Toedte testified she seized $16 from Appellant, which was the amount on the property receipt.
Victor Tincknell, a construction manager for MoDOT, testified he oversees the replacement of damaged fencing, guardrails, and guard cable in the St. Louis area. Tincknell writes up work orders for these types of repairs and is familiar with the cost of performing these ...