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State v. Metternich

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division

December 27, 2016

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
ANN M. METTERNICH, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri The Honorable Daniel R. Green, Judge.

          Before: Mark D. Pfeiffer, Chief Judge, and Thomas H. Newton and Gary D. Witt, Judges.

          Mark D. Pfeiffer, Chief Judge.

         Ms. Ann Metternich ("Metternich") appeals her conviction of one count of the class C felony of stealing, § 570.030, [1] for which the Cole County Circuit Court ("circuit court") imposed a fine of $1, 600. We reverse Metternich's felony stealing conviction and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, Ms. Metternich stole a number of tuxedos and dress pants owned by Anderson's Formal Wear ("AFW") by appropriating the items without AFW's consent and with the purpose to deprive AFW of that property, namely eight tuxedos that had mistakenly been shipped to Metternich. Metternich owned and operated a clothing rental company known as Victoria's Bridal Boutique ("VBB") located in Jefferson City, Missouri. VBB was primarily in the business of renting formalwear for special events, but it also sold a variety of formalwear items. VBB rented (and occasionally purchased) a large amount of its merchandise from AFW, a wholesale clothing rental company based in Rochester, Minnesota, with a distribution center located in Kansas City, Kansas.

         Metternich was charged with and tried for the class C felony of stealing under section 570.030.3 (as opposed to general misdemeanor stealing under section 570.030.1) because the value of the stolen merchandise was alleged to be at least five hundred dollars. Following a bench trial, the trial judge returned a guilty verdict on the felony stealing charge and sentenced Metternich to a fine of $1, 600. In its judgment, the trial court made the following findings:

1. Defendant was an owner of [VBB] in Jefferson City, Missouri.
2. [VBB] had an ongoing business relationship with [AFW] as a wholesale rental business whereby [AFW] would provide tuxedos to [VBB] for use in its business.
3. On April 23, 2009, [AFW] mistakenly delivered eight tuxedos to [VBB] that they intended to ship to a store in Odessa, Missouri called Special Occasions.
4. This Court finds beyond a reasonable doubt that these tuxedos (eight coats and seven pants) [were] property owned by and provided by [AFW], that the defendant appropriated this property without the consent of [AFW] and with the purpose to deprive [AFW] thereof.
5. The eight tuxedos had an approximate value of $1, 600.00.

         Based on these facts, the Court finds the Defendant guilty of the Class C felony of stealing and Defendant is ...


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