Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of Pike County 14PI-CR00066 Honorable
David H. Ash.
M. Gaertner, Jr., Judge
Hill, III (Defendant) appeals from a sentence and judgment of
conviction for first-degree trespass. He asserts that there
was insufficient evidence to support his conviction in that
the State cannot charge him with trespassing on his own
property. We affirm.
State charged Defendant with the class B misdemeanor of
trespass in the first degree. At trial, the State adduced the
December of 2013, Mary Vinson (Vinson) and Defendant were
living together in a mobile home in Bowling Green, Missouri
(mobile home). According to testimony from Vinson, Defendant
and Vinson jointly owned the mobile home, while Defendant
made the rent payments for the lot.
December 5, 2013, Vinson applied for an order of protection
against Defendant. The trial court granted an ex parte order
of protection (Order) against Defendant, which stated that
Defendant was not allowed to enter or stay upon the premises
wherever Vinson may reside, her place of employment, or her
school. Vinson listed the address of the mobile home as her
residence on the application for the Order.
same day, a Pike County deputy served the Order on Defendant
at the mobile home. Vinson was not present in the mobile home
at the time. The deputy knocked on the door and told
Defendant that he had an order of protection to serve on him.
The deputy read verbatim the entire Order to Defendant.
Defendant did not know that Vinson had sought and obtained
the Order against him before law enforcement had arrived.
Because the Order specifically listed the address of the
mobile home where Defendant resided, the deputy took that to
mean that Defendant could not remain in the mobile home any
longer. The deputy told Defendant that he had to leave the
mobile home per the Order. Defendant replied that he had not
done anything wrong and said that he was not leaving unless
officers arrived and had an extensive conversation with
Defendant. Officers lined up at the door ready to forcibly
enter the residence if Defendant continued to refuse to come
out. It sounded to at least one of the officers that
Defendant was barricading the door. Sometime between twenty
minutes and an hour later, Defendant came out of the mobile
home on his own without incident. The officers did not use
physical force, and Defendant did not fight or resist the
officers. Defendant was arrested for violating the Order
because he remained in the residence after the officers had
read him the Order.
defense moved for judgment of acquittal at the close of the
State's case and at the close of evidence. The trial
court denied both motions. The jury found Defendant guilty of
trespass in the first degree, and the trial court sentenced
him to ten days in jail. This appeal follows.
argues that the trial court erred and violated his right to
due process of law in overruling his motion for judgment of
acquittal at the close of evidence and entering judgment
against him for first-degree trespass, because the State
cannot charge an owner with trespassing upon his or her own
property. We disagree.
person commits the class B misdemeanor of trespass in the
first degree when he or she "knowingly enters unlawfully
or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable
structure or upon real property." Section
569.140. The chapter, definitions provided in
Section 569.140 state that, "a person 'enters
unlawfully or remains unlawfully' in or upon premises
when he is not licensed or privileged to do so." Section
569.140; see also State v. Ritchie, 376 S.W.3d 58,
62 (Mo. App. E.D. 2012).
point on appeal challenges the sufficiency of the evidence
supporting his conviction. However, his argument is focused
on whether the State can legally charge an owner with
trespassing on his or her own property, therefore our ...