Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division
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.
D. Pfeiffer, Chief Judge.
Metternich ("Metternich") appeals her conviction of
one count of the class C felony of stealing, § 570.030,
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.
and Procedural Background
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.
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,
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.
on these facts, the Court finds the Defendant guilty of the
Class C felony of stealing and Defendant is ...