Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fifth Division
Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County. Honorable Richard C. Bresnahan.
FOR APPELLANT: Amy Elizabeth Lowe, Assistant Public Defender, St. Louis, MO.
FOR RESPONDENT: Chris Koster, Attorney General, Gregory L. Barnes, Assistant Attorney General, Jefferson City, MO.
PATRICIA L. COHEN, JUDGE. Angela T. Quigless, Chief Judge and Sherri B. Sullivan, Judge, Concur.
PATRICIA L. COHEN, JUDGE
Amy Johnson (Movant) appeals the judgment denying her Rule 24.035 motion to vacate her conviction and sentence for voluntary manslaughter entered after a guilty plea. Movant contends the motion court clearly erred in denying her motion because: (1) her conviction for voluntary manslaughter violated her right to be free from double jeopardy because she was previously convicted of second-degree assault for the same act; and (2) collateral estoppel precluded the plea court's finding that Movant " knowingly" caused the victim to suffer serious physical injury because her earlier assault conviction established
that she had acted " recklessly." We affirm.
Factual and Procedural Background
In July 1994, Movant shook K.M. (Victim), then an infant, causing serious physical injury. The State charged Movant with first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. In October 1995, the State amended the information to reduce the first-degree assault charge to second-degree assault. The amended information alleged that Movant " recklessly caused serious physical injury to [Victim] by shaking her." Movant pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Victim died in December 17, 2007 as a result of the injuries Movant inflicted. Thereafter, the State charged Movant with second-degree murder resulting from the perpetration of felony abuse of a child. Movant filed a " Motion to Dismiss Indictment for Violation of Defendant's Rights Against Double Jeopardy," arguing that prosecution for second-degree murder violated her right to be free from double jeopardy because she was previously convicted of second-degree assault, a lesser included offense of felony murder. Movant also filed a " Motion to Dismiss for a Violation of Due Process and Collateral Estoppel" in which she claimed that collateral estoppel barred the prosecution for second-degree murder because the State was proceeding under the theory that Movant acted " knowingly," even though the earlier judgment established that she acted " recklessly."
On March 2, 2011, the trial court heard arguments and denied Movant's motions to dismiss the second-degree murder charge. On March 14, 2011, the State amended the information, reducing the second-degree murder ...