Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis 1522-CC11159
Honorable Robert H. Dierker, Jr.
P. Page, Judge.
Murray ("Movant") appeals from the denial of his
Rule 29.15 post-conviction relief motion without an
evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
December 15, 2012 at approximately 2:00 p.m., a male suspect
entered the White Castle located on Herbert Avenue in the
City of St. Louis. The male suspect jumped over the counter
and pointed his gun at a White Castle employee. He demanded
money from the cash register, and the White Castle employee
complied. The suspect fled the scene in a purple van. The
entire robbery-which lasted just a few minutes-was recorded
by the White Castle's surveillance system.
police were summoned to the scene of the crime and conducted
an investigation. Detective Thomas Meyer ("Detective
Meyer") reviewed the surveillance footage and discovered
the suspect was wearing dark clothing, distinctive shoes, and
a bandana covered his face below the eyes. Detective Meyer
also interviewed several of the White Castle employees who
were present during the robbery. Victoria Tanksley
("Tanksley"), a White Castle employee, witnessed
the robbery from a just a few feet away and saw the
suspect's eyes and forehead.
same afternoon, shortly after the robbery and in a nearby
neighborhood, Ashley Burnett ("Burnett") saw a man
park a purple van in the middle of her street and get into a
gray, four-door car. Upon witnessing this unusual behavior,
Burnett called the police. Burnett informed the police that
she recognized the man as someone who worked at a nearby
Meyer proceeded to Burnett's street and upon arrival
found the gray, four-door car matching Burnett's
description. As Detective Meyer approached the vehicle, the
male suspect exited. Detective Meyer recognized the suspect
was wearing the same distinctive shoes as appeared on the
White Castle surveillance footage. Detective Meyer arrested
the suspect- Movant-for the robbery of the White Castle, and
found $102 in Movant's pocket.
arriving at the police station, Detective Meyer informed
Movant that there was surveillance footage depicting his
face, and that he was preparing a photographic line-up to
show to witnesses. Movant immediately retorted: "This is
bullsh*t. I want to go to court tonight. They couldn't
see my face. I had it covered."
Meyer prepared a six-person photographic lineup to show both
Burnett and Tanksley. The photographic lineup was comprised
of Movant's photograph and photographs of people with
similar characteristics. Before presenting the photographic
lineup individually to Burnett and Tanksley, Detective Meyer
informed both witnesses that the suspect may or may not be in
the lineup, and that they were not obligated to pick anyone.
Tanksley identified Movant as the man who had robbed the
White Castle both in the photographic lineup and in court,
stating that she recognized him because of his distinctive
forehead. Similarly, Burnett identified Movant in the
photographic lineup and in court as the man whom she saw park
and exit the purple van and then enter the gray, four-door
car on her street.
trial, Detective Meyer testified that he believed Movant was
the robber at the time he presented said lineups, and that it
was possible he could have subconsciously given some signal
to either witness to choose Movant's photograph. However,
Detective Meyer also testified that he did not provide any
explicit indication to Burnett or Tanksley who they should
choose from the photographic lineup.
jury trial, Movant was convicted and sentenced, as a prior
and persistent offender, for first degree robbery, armed
criminal action, and tampering with a motor vehicle. Movant
unsuccessfully appealed his convictions, this court's
mandate being issued on October 9, 2015. See,
generally, State v. Murray, 469 S.W.3d 921
(Mo. App. E.D. 2015).
timely filed his pro se motion for post-conviction
relief. The motion court then denied Movant's motion on
April 26, 2016 without ...