Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis Hon. Dennis
T. Quigless, P.J.
case involves consolidated cross appeals from the judgment of
the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis following a jury
trial in a criminal case. Jerry McCauley
("McCauley") appeals the trial court's judgment
convicting him of possession with intent to use drug
paraphernalia and resisting a lawful detention, arguing there
was insufficient evidence of knowledge and intent to support
the jury's verdicts. The State of Missouri (the
"State") appeals the trial court's judgment of
acquittal notwithstanding the verdict on the charge of
unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, arguing there
was sufficient evidence to support the jury's guilty
verdict. We affirm the judgment.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
review the evidence and all reasonable inferences drawn from
the evidence "in the light most favorable to the
jury's verdict." State v. Hutson, 487
S.W.3d 100, 109 (Mo. App. W.D. 2016). McCauley was charged
with six counts, including: unlawful possession of a firearm
by a felon, a class C felony in violation of Section
571.070 (Count I); resisting a lawful detention, a
class A misdemeanor in violation of Section 575.150 (Count
III); and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A
misdemeanor in violation of Section 195.233 (Count
Archie Shaw ("Det. Shaw") of the St. Louis Police
Department received a tip from a confidential informant that
McCauley was selling and storing narcotics at his
girlfriend's apartment located at 4037A Olive St. (the
"Apartment"). While surveilling the Apartment, Det.
Shaw witnessed three events he suspected were drug
transactions. First, Det. Shaw observed an individual knock
on the door to the Apartment. McCauley opened the door to let
him in; then two minutes later the individual left the
Apartment and drove away. Second, another individual walked
up to the Apartment. Again, McCauley opened the door and let
him in. The individual was only in the Apartment for a few
minutes then left. Third, Det. Shaw observed McCauley enter
the Apartment, then come back out to meet an individual in
the rear alley. The individual handed something to McCauley,
McCauley handed something back, then the individual left.
Based on his extensive experience investigating drug
trafficking, Det. Shaw suspected drug activity.
Shaw obtained a valid search warrant for the Apartment. Det.
Shaw executed the warrant along with seven other police
detectives, including Lyndon Cornell ("Det.
Cornell") and Damon Willis ("Det. Willis").
Det. Cornell was watching the rear entrance to the Apartment.
Det. Willis was watching the front entrance.
and another individual exited the rear entrance and walked
toward the front of the Apartment. Det. Willis exited his
vehicle and walked towards McCauley. Det. Willis was wearing
a black vest that had the word "POLICE" written on
the front and the back. When McCauley and the other
individual saw Det. Willis, McCauley started running while
the other individual stopped and put his hands over his head.
Det. Willis yelled "Police, stop, " then pursued
McCauley on foot, eventually catching and handcuffing him.
Det. Willis searched McCauley and found a set of keys to the
Apartment and three cell phones. No drugs or weapons were
found on McCauley.
detectives informed McCauley they had a search warrant for
the Apartment. McCauley denied that he lived there. However,
Det. Shaw used McCauley's keys to open the front door.
Det. Willis then detained McCauley while the other detectives
searched the Apartment. The search revealed photos of
McCauley and his girlfriend in the living room. In the
kitchen drawer to the right of the stove there was a digital
scale, a box of latex gloves, a hammer, scissors, a box of
sandwich bags, and a box containing numerous small empty
capsules. The scale, hammer, and scissors were all covered in
a white powdery substance suspected to be heroin. Also in the
drawer were three small bags containing large brown rocks
suspected to be heroin. In the closed drawer on the opposite
side of the stove, the detectives found a 9mm handgun
concealed all the way in the back of the drawer. In the
bedroom there was men's clothing in the closet where the
detectives found another scale and a box containing a green
leafy substance suspected to be marijuana. The detectives
also found $5, 000 in cash in the dresser drawer. On top of
the dresser in the bedroom, the detectives found mail
addressed to McCauley at a different address, a prescription
drug box with McCauley's name on it, and two doctor's
appointment cards with future dates for McCauley. All the
evidence was seized and packaged.
testing confirmed the three bags recovered from the kitchen
contained heroin, and the box recovered from the bedroom
closet contained marijuana. The 9mm handgun was tested for
fingerprints and DNA. There were no identifiable fingerprints
on the gun, and the only DNA belonged to someone other than
jury found McCauley guilty of three charges: Count I,
unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon for the gun found
in the kitchen; Count III, resisting a lawful detention; and
Count VI, possession of drug paraphernalia for the scales.
filed a motion for judgment of acquittal arguing there was
insufficient evidence to convict him of any of the charges.
The court denied the motion as to Counts III and VI. However,
the court granted the motion as to Count I, stating:
"There was nothing in the evidence to connect Mr.
McCauley with that weapon in question." The court
further concluded: "The evidence of numerous hand to
hand transactions and defendant going into and coming out of
the premises is sufficient to support the verdict with regard
to the scale. The Court does not believe the State proved
defendant's constructive possession of the gun beyond a
reasonable doubt." The court sentenced McCauley to two
concurrent one-year sentences. This appeal follows.
raises two points on appeal. The State raises one point in
its cross appeal. In Point I, McCauley argues the trial court
erred in accepting the jury's verdict convicting him of
possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia because
there was no evidence of McCauley's knowledge of, or
dominion and control over, the scales, and no evidence of
McCauley's intent to use the scales for the purpose of
preparing or packaging a controlled substance. In Point II,
McCauley argues the trial court erred in accepting the
jury's verdict convicting him of resisting a lawful
detention because there was insufficient evidence that
McCauley knew or reasonably should have known he was being
pursued by law enforcement when he exited the Apartment, and
insufficient evidence that the purpose of the detention was
to execute a search warrant. In Point III, the State argues
the trial court erred in granting McCauley's motion for
judgment of acquittal on Count I because there was sufficient
evidence to support the jury's verdict finding McCauley
guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon.
points raised by both McCauley and the State address the
sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury's
verdicts and are, therefore, governed by the same standard of
standard of review for sufficiency of the evidence is the
same whether the defendant appeals a guilty verdict or the
State appeals a judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the
jury's guilty verdict. See State v. Magalif, 131
S.W.3d 431, 434 (Mo. App. W.D. 2004). "Review of a
challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence to support a
criminal conviction is limited to determining whether
sufficient evidence was presented from which a reasonable
juror could find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt." Hutson, 487 S.W.3d at 108; see
State v. Clark, 490 S.W.3d 704, 707 (Mo. banc 2016). We
view the evidence and all reasonable inferences drawn from
the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's
verdict, disregarding any contrary evidence and inferences.
Hutson, 487 S.W.3d at 108. However, this Court
"may not supply missing evidence, or give the [state]
the benefit of unreasonable, speculative or forced
inferences." Clark, 490 S.W.3d at 707. This
court "does not act as a 'super juror' with veto
powers but ...