Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JACKSON COUNTY. THE HONORABLE DAVID M. BYRN, JUDGE.
Dora Fichter, Jefferson City, MO for respondent.
Damien S. DeLoyla, Kansas City, MO for appellant.
BEFORE DIVISION FOUR: ALOK AHUJA, CHIEF JUDGE, PRESIDING, LISA WHITE HARDWICK AND MARK D. PFEIFFER, JUDGES. ALL CONCUR.
LISA WHITE HARDWICK,
Derrell Wade appeals from his convictions for second-degree (felony) murder, first-degree robbery, two counts of armed criminal action, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon. Wade challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the felony murder, robbery, and armed criminal action convictions. He also contends the circuit court plainly erred in not sua sponte striking a venireperson. For reasons explained herein, we affirm.
Factual and Procedural History
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence was that, late in the evening of November 18, 2011, Patrick McCarthy and Russell Griffith drove to a gas station in Kansas City to meet with Nicholas Michael. Michael arrived with James Vannest in Vannest's car. Wade and two other men were standing at a bus station across from the gas station. Wade walked to the gas station as Michael and Vannest arrived. The two other men with Wade stayed at the bus stop.
Griffith got out of the car, and Wade said to him, " What's up, Red?" Griffith got back into the car, and McCarthy went inside the gas station. Michael also went inside the gas station. Wade walked inside the gas station and stayed there for a short time without buying anything. Wade watched McCarthy pay for some items and left. Michael and McCarthy then walked out of the gas station and went back to Griffith's car. Griffith sat in the driver's seat of the car, McCarthy sat in the front passenger seat, and Michaels sat in the back passenger seat.
Wade and the two men from the bus station approached on the driver's side of the car and spoke to Griffith and McCarthy about buying some PCP. As they were talking, Wade walked away from the car but then returned and gestured at the two men. Wade and the two men then began shooting at Griffith's car. McCarthy got out of the car and fell on the ground. Griffith's car began rolling out of the gas station lot, and the two men with Wade ran. Wade approached McCarthy, took his money, shot twice at McCarthy, and ran.
McCarthy died as a result of his gunshot wounds. Griffith and Michael were both injured. Michael spoke to the police at the hospital and told them what happened.
At the scene, the police found 27 9mm spent cartridge casings. The casings were all fired from the same weapon, which was most likely a handgun. They found 11 7.62 spent shell casings that were most likely fired from a rifle. The police also found a .40 caliber spent shell casing and a live .40 caliber round. Typically, this type of ammunition is used in a handgun.
In December 2011, the police arrested Lorenzo Burns during a traffic stop and recovered a .40 caliber handgun. A ballistics analysis showed that the .40 caliber spent shell casing and the .40 caliber round found at the shooting scene came from this gun.
Griffith was able to identify Wade in the store's surveillance video and in photographs that the police showed him. Wade was arrested in April 2012, and he agreed to speak to the police. He initially denied being present at the gas station on the night of the shooting. When confronted with still photographs taken from the surveillance video, however, he changed his story. Wade admitted that he was at the gas ...