Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of Saline County, Missouri The
Honorable Dennis A. Rolf, Judge
Before: Karen King Mitchell, Presiding Judge, Victor C.
Howard, Judge and Gary D. Witt, Judge
D. Witt, Judge
State of Missouri ("State") appeals from the
judgment of the Circuit Court of Saline County vacating the
defendant Andrew Trae Jacobson's ("Jacobson")
finding of guilt by a jury of the offense of armed criminal
action. In its sole point on appeal, the State argues the
trial court erred in sua sponte entering its
judgment of acquittal following the jury's guilty verdict
for armed criminal action associated with the accompanying
felony conviction for second-degree assault because the
record contains sufficient evidence to support the
conviction. We reverse and remand for sentencing.
appeal arises out of the prosecution of Jacobson for a
hit-and-run incident occurring on January 13, 2015. Jacobson,
who was 18 years old, began drinking alcohol alone at 2:00
a.m. on the morning of January 13. At approximately 3:00
p.m., he picked up a friend in his Toyota truck, which was
"lifted" above its factory height. After driving
around for a while, the two drove to a lake to drink alcohol
and listen to music. While at the lake, they drank rum mixed
approximately 5:30 p.m., the two boys decided to go to the
Slater High School basketball game. Jacobson drove his truck
to the game and parked in a gravel parking lot near the
school. The two boys admitted that they were intoxicated.
Approximately an hour after arriving at the school, Jacobson
decided that he was too intoxicated to be at the school and
left alone in his truck.
Knox ("Victim") arrived at the high school with her
nine-month old daughter to watch a game. The Victim parked
her car and proceeded to walk toward the gym holding her
daughter in her arms. She approached a street at an
intersection over which she had to cross to get from the
parking lot to the school. She looked both ways and saw
headlights pulling out of a parking lot but thought that the
vehicle was stopping behind some busses parked at the school.
The Victim proceeded to cross the street and right before she
reached the curb she saw the lights of Jacobson's truck
right next to her. Realizing she and her daughter were going
to be hit by the truck, the Victim got down to try to protect
her daughter. The truck's front and back tires proceeded
to roll over her back.
bystanders, who did not see the incident but heard a scream,
came to the Victim's aid. One of the men tried to chase
down the truck, but it sped away. The Victim and her daughter
were taken to the hospital. The Victim suffered from spinal
and rib fractures, in addition to lacerations and a hematoma.
At the time of trial, the Victim could walk but still suffers
from constant pain and a limited range of motion. Amazingly,
the baby did not sustain any serious injuries.
enforcement received information that identified Jacobson as
a possible suspect involved in the incident. An officer drove
to his home and saw his pickup truck in the driveway, which
matched the description given by the bystanders. When
Jacobson came out of the house to speak with the officer, the
officer smelled alcohol on his person. Jacobson admitted that
he had been drinking but stated he had started drinking when
he returned home that evening. Jacobson admitted that he had
been at the basketball game but denied any knowledge of a
hit-and-run. The officer looked at Jacobson's truck and
found a baby hat stuck in the front grill that the
Victim's daughter had been wearing that evening. Jacobson
was taken to the police station for questioning and field
sobriety tests were performed, followed by a breath sample
test to determine his blood alcohol content
("BAC"). At 7:43 p.m., Jacobson's BAC was .177.
written statement provided to police, Jacobson stated that he
had been drinking alcohol since 2:00 a.m. on January 13 and
admitted he was intoxicated when he drove to and from the
high school. Jacobson did not remember the incident but did
remember that he had felt a bump and thought he had hit a dog
but he did not stop and check. At trial, Jacobson testified
that he thought he had hit an animal but was embarrassed and
did not stop. Instead, he slowed down and looked back. When
he did not see anything, he drove home. Jacobson admitted
that he was aware that the intersection where he hit the
Victim is a high-traffic area for pedestrians, especially
between games. In addition, he testified that he was aware
that his line of sight from his truck was altered due to the
lift kit installed on his truck which raised the body seven
inches above the tires. At the time of the accident, his
music was turned up loudly.
jury acquitted him of endangering the welfare of a child,
leaving the scene of an accident, and one count of armed
criminal action but found Jacobson guilty of one count of
second degree assault, section 565.060.4 and the related
armed criminal action count, section 571.015.1. The jury
recommended a sentence of one year in the county jail for
assault in the second degree and three years for armed
criminal action. Notwithstanding the jury's verdict on
the armed criminal action count, the trial court sua
sponte entered a judgment of acquittal for that count at
the time of sentencing. Jacobson was sentenced to one year in
the county jail for second-degree assault.
State now appeals.