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State v. Cordell

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

November 1, 2016

STATE OF MISSOURI, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
SHEENA DARLENE CORDELL, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY Honorable Calvin R. Holden

         AFFIRMED

          GARY W. LYNCH, P.J.

         A jury found Sheena Darlene Cordell ("Defendant") guilty of driving on September 20, 2012, while intoxicated. See section 577.010.[1] The trial court sentenced her to four years' imprisonment in the Department of Corrections. The trial court suspended execution of that sentence and placed Defendant on probation for five years. Defendant timely appeals.

         Before trial, the State offered Defendant's "Missouri Driver Record" certified by the Missouri Department of Revenue ("DOR") showing Defendant's "current Driver History Information recorded with the [DOR] as of December 4, 2013[, ]" as evidence of her previous intoxication-related traffic offenses ("IRTO") and the basis for sentencing Defendant as an aggravated offender. Her driver record shows, as pertinent here:

         (Image Omitted)

         The trial court admitted Defendant's driver record over Defendant's objections and found that Defendant was an "aggravated offender."

         Defendant's sole point relied on does not challenge the admission of her driver record, but rather asserts that the trial court erred in finding she was an aggravated offender because "the State failed to produce sufficient evidence . . . that the acts underlying the two municipal convictions were acts specifically prohibited under Missouri's driving while intoxicated statutes, §§ 577.001 and 577.010[.]"

         Standard of Review

         "It is the State's burden to prove prior [IRTOs] beyond a reasonable doubt." State v. Craig, 287 S.W.3d 676, 681 (Mo. banc 2009). The standard of review for this court-tried issue is the same as in a jury-tried case. Id.

In reviewing a claim that there was not sufficient evidence to sustain a criminal conviction, this Court does not weigh the evidence but, rather, accepts as true all evidence tending to prove guilt together with all reasonable inferences that support the verdict, and ignores all contrary evidence and inferences. This Court asks only whether there was sufficient evidence from which the trier of fact reasonably could have found the defendant guilty.

State v. Claycomb, 470 S.W.3d 358, 362 (Mo. banc 2015) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The State may prove its case by presenting direct or circumstantial evidence. State v. Plopper, 489 S.W.3d 848, 849-50 (Mo.App. 2016). Upon appellate review, circumstantial evidence is given the same weight as direct evidence and the fact finder may make reasonable inferences from the evidence presented. Id. at 850.

         Discussion

         Driving while intoxicated in violation of section 577.010 is punishable for a first offense as a class B misdemeanor. Section 577.010.2. If the offender is an aggravated offender, however, it is punishable as a class C felony. Section 577.023.4.[2] "An 'aggravated offender' is a person who [h]as pleaded ...


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