Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
Appeal from the City of St. Louis Circuit Court. Honorable Jimmie M. Edwards.
FOR APPELLANT: Timothy J. Forneris, Missouri Public Defender Office, St. Louis, Missouri.
FOR RESPONDENT: Todd T. Smith, Assistant Attorney General, Jefferson City, Missouri.
Philip M. Hess, Judge. Sherri B. Sullivan, P.J. and Mary K. Hoff, J. concur.
Philip M. Hess, Judge
Leonard Davie (Defendant) appeals the trial court's judgment, entered after a bench trial, finding him guilty of one count
of felony drug possession. On appeal, Defendant claims the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence and overruling his objections to the admission of certain evidence at trial. We affirm.
On August 13, 2013, St. Louis City police officers Carl Whittaker and his partner Hammad Ahmad received an anonymous tip regarding a suspicious vehicle parked in an alley. Upon arriving at the alley, the officers found a black SUV occupied by Defendant, who was sitting in the front seat with his feet facing outward. Suspecting that Defendant was violating a city ordinance prohibiting parking in alleyways for an extended period of time, the officers exited their vehicle and approached the SUV. Defendant exited the SUV and started to walk away. The officers ordered Defendant to stop and get back into his vehicle, informing Defendant that he was not free to leave. They asked Defendant for his identification and ran his name through the Regional Justice Information Service (REJIS) system, which revealed Defendant had a parole violation, fugitive warrants for failure to appear, and a wanted card. The officers placed Defendant under arrest and informed him of his Miranda rights. Officer Whittaker searched Defendant's person and found a small bag containing what he believed to be narcotics in Defendant's pocket. Officer Whittaker then informed Defendant of the additional reason for his arrest and read Defendant his Miranda rights again. Defendant told the officer that the substance found in his pocket was heroin. Officer Whittaker sent the substance to the City of St. Louis Laboratory Division, where an examiner performed several analytical tests and determined that the substance was in fact heroin.
Defendant was charged with the class C felony of one count of possession of a controlled substance. Prior to trial, Defendant's counsel filed a motion to suppress evidence, arguing that the State's evidence was obtained in violation of Defendant's Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Defendant waived his right to a jury trial and requested a bench trial. At trial, defense counsel objected to the admission of the heroin, the lab report, Defendant's statements to the police, and Officer Whittaker's testimony regarding the seizure. At the close of the State's case, Defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal. Both Defendant's motion to suppress and motion for judgment of ...