Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LAWRENCE COUNTY, Honorable Jack
A.L. Goodman, Circuit Judge
WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., J. OPINION AUTHOR
Antuane Purifoy ("Purifoy") appeals the judgment of
the trial court following his conviction for the class C
felony of unlawful possession of a firearm. Following a jury
trial, the trial judge sentenced Purifoy to five years'
incarceration in the Department of Corrections. Purifoy
challenges the judgment of the trial court in four points on
appeal. Finding no merit to any of Purifoy's points, we
affirm the judgment of the trial court.
and Procedural Background
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his
conviction. "When judging the sufficiency of the
evidence to support a conviction, appellate courts . . .
accept as true all evidence tending to prove guilt together
with all reasonable inferences that support the verdict and
ignore all contrary evidence and inferences." State
v. Wooden, 388 S.W.3d 522, 527 (Mo. banc 2013). Viewed
in this light, the following evidence was adduced at trial.
October 16, 2001, as part of a plea agreement, Purifoy pled
guilty to unlawful use of a weapon. Purifoy initially
received a suspended imposition of sentence ("SIS")
with three year's supervised probation. On March 19,
2002, Purifoy's probation was revoked, a three-year
sentence was imposed, execution of that sentence was
suspended ("SES"), and Purifoy was again placed on
three years' probation, which he successfully completed.
December 10, 2012, Purifoy was arrested when he was in
possession of a firearm. Purifoy was subsequently charged, by
amended information, with the class C felony of unlawful
possession of a firearm, pursuant to section
jury trial on March 18, 2015, Purifoy was convicted of the
class C felony of unlawful possession of a firearm. The trial
court sentenced Purifoy to five years' incarceration in
the Department of Corrections with credit for time served.
points on appeal, Purifoy asserts the trial court erred in:
(1) overruling his motion for judgment of acquittal at the
close of all the evidence because the State's evidence
was insufficient to sustain a finding that Purifoy knew he
had a prior felony conviction; (2) overruling his objection
to the prosecutor's statement in closing argument that
Purifoy purchased a weapon from a private individual to avoid
a background check; (3) not declaring a mistrial or giving a
curative instruction sua sponte after the
prosecutor, in closing argument, told the jury that
Purifoy's knowledge of his felony was established through
his own testimony; and (4) not declaring a mistrial or giving
a curative instruction sua sponte when the
prosecutor, in closing argument, told the jury that the prior
court revoked Purifoy's probation because the court
thought it was appropriate, and it would have told Purifoy
that it was revoking his probation.
issues for our determination are:
1. Was there sufficient evidence to support the challenged
element of Purifoy's conviction?
2. Did the trial court abuse its discretion or plainly err in
failing to overrule defense counsel's objections to the
prosecutor's comments about Purifoy's knowledge of
his felony conviction, or to intervene sua sponte
after such comments by the prosecutor?
To determine whether the evidence presented was sufficient to
support a conviction and to withstand a motion for judgment
of acquittal, this Court does not weigh the evidence but
rather accepts as true all evidence tending to prove guilt
together with all reasonable inferences that ...