Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Esparza v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division

May 2, 2017

DANIEL ESPARZA, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lafayette County, Missouri The Honorable Dennis A. Rolf, Judge

          Before Anthony Rex Gabbert, Presiding Judge, Victor C. Howard, Judge and Cynthia L. Martin, Judge

          Cynthia L. Martin, Judge

         Daniel Esparza ("Esparza") appeals from the denial of his Rule 29.15 motion following an evidentiary hearing. Esparza argues that the motion court clearly erred in denying his motion because the sentence imposed by the trial court was in excess of the maximum sentence authorized by law. In particular, Esparza asserts that the State failed to meet its burden to prove that he had been previously convicted of driving while intoxicated six times in Georgia because the State failed to comply with the statutory requirements set forth in section 490.130[1] for introducing records of judicial proceedings from other states. We affirm.

         Factual and Procedural History

         In the underlying criminal case, the State charged Esparza with one count of driving while intoxicated in violation of section 577.010.[2] The information alleged that, in addition to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol on December 5, 2012, Esparza previously had been convicted seven times of driving while intoxicated in Georgia. Thus, the information alleged that Esparza was a chronic offender and subject to an enhanced penalty pursuant to section 577.023.[3]

         Immediately prior to trial, the State offered Exhibits 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 as evidence of Esparza's six prior convictions for driving while intoxicated in Georgia.[4]Esparza's counsel stated that he had "no objection" to Exhibits 9 through 14, and the trial court received them into evidence. The trial court then stated, "Based on Exhibits 9 through 14, the Court finds the Defendant to be a prior, persistent, aggravated, and chronic driving while intoxicated offender."

         The matter then proceeded to trial. Following the presentation of evidence, the jury found Esparza guilty of driving while intoxicated, and the trial court later sentenced Esparza to fifteen years imprisonment in the Department of Corrections. Esparza appealed, and we affirmed the trial court's judgment in State v. Esparza, 447 S.W.3d 200 (Mo. App. W.D. 2014).

         Esparza filed a timely pro se Rule 29.15 motion. Appointed counsel timely filed an amended motion. The amended motion asserted that Esparza was entitled to post-conviction relief, in relevant part, because: (1) Esparza's sentence exceeded that allowed by law because the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was a chronic offender pursuant to section 577.023; and (2) Esparza received ineffective assistance of counsel because his counsel failed to object to the inclusion of Exhibits 9 through 14 into evidence. The motion court held an evidentiary hearing during which Esparza entered Exhibits 9 through 14 into evidence and Esparza's trial counsel testified. Following an evidentiary hearing, the motion court issued its findings of fact and conclusions of law denying the amended motion.

         Esparza appeals.

         Standard of Review

         We review the motion court's denial of a Rule 29.15 motion to determine whether the motion court's findings of fact and conclusions of law are clearly erroneous. Rule 29.15(k). Findings of fact and conclusions of law are "clearly erroneous if, after reviewing the entire record, we are left with 'a definite and firm impression that a mistake has been made.'" Cothran v. State, 436 S.W.3d 247, 251 (Mo. App. W.D. 2014) (quoting Moore v. State, 328 S.W.3d 700, 702 (Mo. banc 2010)).

         Analysis

         Esparza sets forth a single point on appeal. Esparza asserts that the motion court's denial of his Rule 29.15 motion was clearly erroneous in that Esparza's sentence was in excess of the maximum sentence authorized by law. Esparza claims that Exhibits 9 through 14 did not meet the statutory requirements set forth in section 490.130 for the entry of the records of judicial proceedings into evidence. Thus, according to Esparza, the State ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.