Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division
VINCENT M. TRAPANI, Appellant,
STATE OF MISSOURI, et al., Respondents.
from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri The Honorable
Jon E. Beetem, Judge
Before: Karen King Mitchell, Presiding Judge, Victor C.
Howard, Judge and Gary D. Witt, Judge
M. Trapani ("Trapani") appeals from the judgment of
the Circuit Court of Cole County denying his Petition for
Expungement of Arrest Records ("Expungement
Petition"). Trapani's arrest arose out of the
shooting of his brother Anthony Trapani
("Anthony") on December 17, 2011. The court heard the
case and denied Trapani's request for expungement as the
court found that Trapani failed to meet the statutory
requirements for expungement with respect to both his arrest
for first-degree domestic assault and unlawful use of a
weapon. We affirm.
of 2014, Trapani filed his Expungement Petition pursuant to
section 610.122, seeking the expungement of all records
related to his arrest on December 17, 2011. Trapani's
arrest arose out of a shooting incident at the home he shared
with his brother Anthony and Anthony's wife, Shay Trapani
("Shay"). On December 17, 2011 at approximately
1:00 a.m., law enforcement officers were called to the
residence. At the residence, Anthony was found with a bullet
wound to his left hand and abdomen. Anthony had been shot
once with the bullet travelling through his left hand and his
abdomen and then exiting his back.
their investigation, officers learned that both Shay and
Trapani were present at the time of the shooting. A detective
overheard Trapani state several times that the shooting was
an accident and tell family members that Anthony accidentally
told law enforcement that prior to the incident all three had
been at a tavern drinking alcohol. She also stated that she
did not see the shooting but overheard part of the
conversation between Trapani and Anthony immediately prior to
the shooting. Anthony wanted to show Trapani his gun. She
heard Anthony tell Trapani that he had removed the magazine
from the gun, and Trapani asked Anthony whether the gun would
go off if he pulled the trigger. Shay then heard the gun
enforcement spoke to Trapani shortly after their arrival.
Trapani smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot. A
search warrant to obtain evidence of Trapani's blood
alcohol content was sought and issued. Three hours after the
shooting, Trapani had a blood alcohol content of 0.063.
was arrested for domestic assault in the first degree and
unlawful use of a weapon. Trapani was eventually charged with
domestic assault in the second degree, but the charge was
later dismissed by the State and never went to trial.
State opposed Trapani's Expungement Petition, arguing
that Trapani's arrest was not based on false information
and that there was probable cause at the time of the
expungement action to believe that Trapani committed the
offenses for which he was arrested. The trial court denied
Trapani's Expungement Petition. Regarding his arrest for
first-degree domestic assault, the court found Trapani failed
to prove both that (a) his arrest was based on false
information and (b) there was no probable cause at the time
of the expungement action to believe that Trapani committed
the offense. Regarding his arrest for unlawful use of a
weapon, the trial court found that Trapani failed to show
that there was no probable cause at the time of the
expungement action to believe he committed the offense. This
appeal follows. Additional facts will be included in the
analysis section below as necessary.
In reviewing court-tried cases, we affirm the judgment unless
there is no substantial evidence to support it, it is against
the weight of the evidence, or it erroneously declares or
applies the law. Adum v. St. Louis Metropolitan Police
Dep't, 423 S.W.3d 327, 328 (Mo. App. E.D. 2014). The
trial court's application of statutory requirements is a
question of law rather than fact; therefore, we review the
trial court's application of statutory requirements de
novo. Sutton v. Municipal Court Division, Des Peres,
462 S.W.3d 446, 448– 49 (Mo. App. E.D. 2015).
Additionally, the credibility of the witnesses is for the
determination of the trial court, which is free to believe
none, part, or all of the testimony. Maserang v. Crawford
County Sheriff's Dep't, 211 S.W.3d 118, 121 (Mo.
App. S.D. 2006). We defer to the trial court's
determination of the witnesses' credibility. Id.
Doe v. Mo. State Hwy. Patrol Criminal Records
Repository, 474 S.W.3d 171, 174 (Mo. App. E.D. 2015).
Point One on appeal, Trapani argues the trial court erred in
denying his Expungement Petition for his arrest for domestic
assault in the first degree because the trial court
erroneously applied the law because the evidence established
that (a) Trapani's arrest for domestic assault in the
first degree was based on false information; (b) there was
not probable cause at the time of the expungement action to
believe that he committed the offense of domestic assault in
the first degree; and (c) Trapani was innocent of the
610.122 provides, in relevant part, that a record of arrest
may be expunged if the following criteria are satisfied:
1. Notwithstanding other provisions of law to the contrary,
any record of arrest recorded pursuant to section 43.503 may
be expunged if:
(1) The court determines that the arrest was based on
false information and the following conditions ...