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Johnson v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fifth Division

May 12, 2015

AMY JOHNSON, Movant/Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent

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.

OPINION

Page 3

PATRICIA L. COHEN, JUDGE

Introduction

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

Page 4

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 ...


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