Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of Franklin County. 11AB-CR01094-01.
Honorable Isidore I. Lamke.
APPELLANT: Amy M. Bartholow, Office of Public Defender,
RESPONDENT: Chris Koster, Attorney General, Daniel N.
McPherson, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, MO.
M. CLAYTON III
Spurgeon (" Appellant" ) appeals the judgment
entered after a bench trial convicting him of one count of
driving while intoxicated, one count of operating a motor
vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner, and one count of
failing to maintain financial responsibility. We dismiss the
was charged with one count of driving while intoxicated, one
count of operating a motor vehicle in a careless and
imprudent manner, and one count of failing to maintain
financial responsibility. Appellant was tried at a bench
trial on January 14, 2014, which produced the following
facts, viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict.
State Highway Patrol Trooper Matthew Mistler arrested
Appellant for driving while intoxicated on June 5, 2010,
after Appellant was involved in an accident on Missouri
Highway 47 in Franklin County. When Trooper Mistler made the
arrest, Appellant was unconscious in the hospital following
the accident. Trooper Mistler read the Missouri implied
consent law to Appellant and orally requested a
blood sample. Hospital personnel retrieved the blood sample
while Appellant was still unconscious and unresponsive, and a
blood alcohol test was performed.
to trial, Appellant filed a motion to suppress the results of
the blood alcohol test. The trial court denied the motion,
and evidence of Appellant's blood alcohol test was
admitted at trial over Appellant's objection. The trial
court ultimately found Appellant guilty on all counts. The
trial court also found Appellant was a prior and persistent
offender, based on two prior convictions for driving while
was set for July 29, 2014, but Appellant did not appear on
that date. Sentencing was continued to August 12, 2014, and
Appellant was ordered to appear but did not. A capias warrant
was issued, and Appellant was subsequently arrested in Los
Angeles, California. Appellant appeared before the trial
court, in custody, on November 25, 2014, and the trial court
re-set sentencing for January 27, 2015. Appellant was
sentenced on that date to concurrent sentences of three
years' imprisonment for driving while intoxicated, six
months in jail for operating a motor vehicle in a careless
and imprudent manner, and fifteen days in jail for failing to
maintain financial responsibility. This appeal followed.
sole point on appeal, Appellant asserts the trial court erred
in denying his motion to suppress the results of the blood
alcohol test and admitting the evidence at trial. We need not
address the merits of Appellant's claim, as we dismiss
The escape rule operates to deny the right of appeal to a
defendant who escapes justice." State v.
Troupe, 891 S.W.2d 808, 809 (Mo. banc 1995). The
doctrine originally dates back to State v. Carter,
98 Mo. 431, 11 S.W. 979 (Mo. 1889). Troupe, 891 S.W.2d at
810. The Western District articulated the rationale for the
doctrine in State v. Wright, 763 S.W.2d 167, 168-69
(Mo. App. W.D. 1988):
Those who seek the protection of this legal system must  be
willing to abide by its rules and decisions. [The defendant]
comes before this court seeking vindication of her Fourth
Amendment rights. Earlier, however, when she absconded she
showed her reluctance to accept the decision of the trial
court or to await the vindication of her rights by this
court. She may not ...