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State v. White

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, First Division

May 16, 2017

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
DAVONE WHITE, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County 14SL-CR10027-01 Honorable Kristine A. Kerr

          Lisa P. Page, Judge

         Davone White ("Defendant") appeals his conviction after a jury trial of robbery in the first degree, attempted robbery in the first degree, and two counts of armed criminal action. We affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.

         BACKGROUND

         On December 14, 2014, Samuel Hoffman ("Hoffman") and James Lent ("Lent") (collectively, "Witnesses") were fixing Hoffman's car, in front of his house in St. Louis County. An individual in a blue face mask approached, gun in hand, and demanded the Witnesses hand over their money. Lent dumped three to six dollars on the ground, but Hoffman had no money. The assailant took the money and absconded via a burgundy Mercury Sable.

         Lent proceeded to follow the assailant in his own vehicle and eventually attempted to block the assailant's escape, but was almost "T-boned" by the assailant's vehicle. During this pursuit, however, Lent was able to observe the assailant's unmasked face and license plate. Upon returning to Hoffman's residence, Lent called 911, the two Witnesses reported their accounts to the responding law enforcement officer.

         Later that same day, Detective Scott Cork ("Detective Cork") investigated the license plate number, reported by Lent, and traced the car back to Defendant. Detective Cork and his partner drove to Defendant's residence and observed Defendant exiting the house, headed toward the Sable, wearing the same clothing as described by the Witnesses.

         Thereafter, with computer assistance, Detective Cork generated a photographic lineup; the photographic lineup consisted of a prior photo of Defendant and five other photos selected by Detective Cork based upon their similar characteristics as Defendant. Both Witnesses were provided the opportunity to view this photographic lineup and selected Defendant.

         Defendant was arrested and charged with robbery in the first degree, attempted robbery in the first degree and two counts of armed criminal action. Prior to trial, the State offered Defendant a plea deal, for twenty years' imprisonment, which Defendant rejected. After a two day trial, the jury found Defendant guilty of all counts.

         The trial court sentenced Defendant to twenty-five years' imprisonment. In doing so, the court stated it relied on information in the sentencing report, the evidence at trial, the background of the case, and the victims' trauma. The court also stated its typical practice was to sentence defendants for more time than what was offered in a plea deal, so defendants would understand the consequences of going to trial.

         This appeal follows.

         DISCUSSION

         Defendant submits two points on appeal, contending: (I) the identifications by the Witnesses were the result of unnecessarily suggestive police procedures; and (II) the trial court penalized Defendant for exercising his right to a jury trial.

         Point I-The Pretrial Identification Procedures Were Not ...


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