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State v. Parshall

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division

March 3, 2015

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
ROGER LEE PARSHALL, Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Holt County, Missouri. The Honorable William S. Richards, Judge.

For Respondent: Robert R. Shepherd, Holt County Prosecuting Attorney, Oregon, MO.

For Appellant: Cory L. Atkins, Kansas City, MO.

Before Division I: Cynthia L. Martin, Presiding Judge, and Thomas H. Newton and Mark D. Pfeiffer, Judges. Cynthia L. Martin, Presiding Judge, and Thomas H. Newton, Judge, concur.

OPINION

Mark D. Pfeiffer, J.

Roger Lee Parshall (" Parshall" ) appeals the judgment of the Circuit Court of Holt County, Missouri (" trial court" ), finding him guilty, after a jury trial, of misdemeanor speeding under section 304.010. On appeal, Parshall claims that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting radar testimony and that his conviction is not supported by substantial evidence. We affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background

On July 17, 2013, Trooper Joshua Zach (" Trooper Zach" ) of the Missouri State Highway Patrol was conducting construction zone speed limit enforcement on I-29 in Holt County. Trooper Zach had been a trooper for over nine years. Trooper Zach utilizes a Stalker DSR 2X radar gun unit, which he has been trained to operate, and he possesses a certification establishing his expertise in the use and proper function of the radar unit. Pursuant to his training, at the beginning and end of each of his shifts, Trooper Zach performs tests to ensure the proper functioning of the radar unit; additionally, as soon as practicable after each radar enforcement use of the

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Stalker DSR 2X, he performs an interim test to again ensure that the radar unit is functioning properly at the site and time of each radar enforcement stop. The beginning-and-end-of-shift testing process involves both an " internal test" and a " tuning fork test." The in-shift interim testing after each enforcement use of the radar unit utilizes the " internal test" only.

The " internal test" consists of data retrieval that is programmed by the manufacturer into the Stalker DSR 2X and is conducted by pressing a button on the radar unit that then internally identifies a machine search of the proper functioning of the separate radar components of the radar unit and issues a reading that must show " pass" in both of two separate screens on the radar unit. The " tuning fork test," as described by Trooper Zach, is " just basically two metallic-like forks that when you strike them against something and hold them in front of a radar antenna the frequency that's given off these forks will present a certain number on the radar. So we go through that on each antenna [rear and front]." Thus, of the two tests, the " internal test" is less subjective or dependent upon human interaction than the " tuning fork test."

At the beginning (morning) and the end of his shift (later that day) on July 17, 2013, Trooper Zach conducted both an internal test and a tuning fork test[1] on his Stalker DSR 2X radar unit; these tests indicated that his radar unit was functioning properly. Trooper Zach then drove to the enforcement area, made sure the construction zone speed limit signs were posted and visible, set up on the shoulder, and began observing traffic.

At approximately 8:55 a.m., Trooper Zach observed a pickup truck that was, based upon Trooper Zach's experience and estimation, traveling at around seventy-five miles per hour, well in excess of the posted fifty-five miles per hour speed limit for the construction zone. Trooper Zach checked the pickup's speed with his radar unit, which indicated that the truck was traveling at a speed of seventy-six miles per hour. As the pickup passed the patrol car, its brake lights were activated. Trooper Zach stopped the pickup and wrote Parshall, the driver, a speeding ticket. Immediately thereafter, Trooper Zach--as he had been trained to do--performed a separate internal test to ensure that the radar unit was then and there still functioning properly; the internal test verified the proper functioning of the radar unit.

At Parshall's trial, Trooper Zach testified to the above facts. After Trooper Zach testified, the jury saw the footage from Trooper Zach's patrol car's dashboard camera. The video showed Parshall's pickup truck passing the patrol car traveling ...


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