Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County 14SL-CR07287-01
Honorable Steven H. Goldman
M. Gaertner, Jr., Judge
Casey (Defendant) appeals the judgment entered upon his
conviction by a jury of one count of second-degree murder and
one count of armed criminal action, for which the trial court
sentenced him to consecutive terms of life and 30 years in
prison, respectively. Defendant argues that the trial court
erred in failing to give two of his proffered instructions to
the jury and in excluding expert testimony regarding false
confessions. We affirm.
State charged Defendant with one count of first-degree
murder, one count of first-degree assault, and two counts of
armed criminal action, resulting from a shooting on July 26,
2014. Earlier that evening, a University City high school
held a reunion at Heman Park in University City attended by
approximately three to four hundred people. A fight broke out
at some point, involving 15 to 20 people. Defendant was
fighting a man he called "Tigga, " when Mario
Wallace (Victim) pulled Defendant off Tigga. Police arrived
and sprayed mace in the faces of several of those involved to
break up the fight. Defendant walked away with Romie Banks
(Banks), one of those sprayed with mace.
after Defendant and Banks left the area, they saw Victim
following them. Victim was yelling at them accusing them of
attacking Victim's friend during the fight. Victim had
his fists up in a fighting position and was challenging
Defendant and Banks to fight. Victim pulled his shirt up and
said "I don't have anything." Pamela Christian
(Christian) was nearby and saw Victim yelling at Defendant
and Banks. She told Victim not to fight, and Victim
responded, "Yes, ma'am" and started to walk
away. Defendant was standing next to Banks' car.
Christian saw Defendant reach into the car, pull out a gun,
and start shooting in Victim's direction. Then Defendant
and Banks got into the car and drove away. Victim later died
from a gunshot wound to his chest.
August 7, 2014, Police arrested Defendant and brought him to
the police station for questioning and to participate in a
live lineup. They gave Defendant
Mirandawarnings, and Defendant signed a waiver
form. Defendant initially denied being involved in either the
fight or the shooting. He then admitted he was involved in
the fight and that Victim pulled Defendant off Tigga. He
later admitted that he walked with Banks and that the gun
that killed Victim came from Banks' car, but Defendant
said Banks was the one who shot Victim.
took a break from questioning Defendant and placed him in a
live lineup. Christian viewed the lineup and identified
Defendant as the shooter. She became emotional when she
identified him, and she said she was sure Defendant was the
person who shot Victim. Police resumed questioning Defendant
and then took a later break to take Defendant's
fingerprints. After that, they returned to the room and
Defendant confessed to shooting Victim. The next day,
Defendant participated in a video reenactment of the crime.
Defendant grabbed the gun out of the car and fired it at
Victim, who he said was running toward him. Defendant said on
the video that he was sorry for what happened and wished he
could take it back.
trial, the trial court gave verdict directing instructions
for the charged crime of first-degree murder, as well as for
the lesser-included charges of second-degree murder and
involuntary manslaughter. Defendant requested an instruction
for voluntary manslaughter, which the trial court denied.
Defendant also requested that the trial court instruct the
jury regarding eyewitness testimony using a new Missouri
Approved Instruction (MAI) that had not yet become effective,
and the trial court also denied this request, utilizing a
current MAI regarding eyewitness testimony instead. The jury
convicted Defendant of second-degree murder and armed
criminal action. The trial court sentenced Defendant to
consecutive terms of life and 30 years in prison,
respectively. This appeal follows.
raises three points on appeal. First, he argues that the
trial court erred in refusing his proffered verdict directing
instruction for voluntary manslaughter. Second, he argues the
trial court abused its discretion in refusing his proffered
instruction regarding eyewitness testimony. Finally,
Defendant argues the trial court abused its discretion in
excluding Defendant's expert's testimony regarding
risk factors for false confessions in interrogation
procedures. We discuss each in turn.
argues the trial court erred in refusing his requested
verdict directing instruction for voluntary manslaughter
because the evidence supported a finding that he committed
the murder under the ...