Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of Cole County The Honorable Daniel R.
Alok Ahuja, P.J., and Victor C. Howard and James E. Welsh,
2002, appellant Tony Mann was convicted of assault of a law
enforcement officer in the first degree and an associated
count of armed criminal action. Mann is currently serving his
sentences. The Board of Probation and Parole issued an order
granting Mann parole and ordering that he be released from
confinement on October 5, 2016. The Board later rescinded
that order, however, because it determined that assault of a
law enforcement officer is a "dangerous felony" for
which Mann is required to serve eighty-five percent of his
sentence before becoming parole-eligible. Mann filed a
petition for a writ of mandamus in the Circuit Court of Cole
County to compel the Board to reinstate his parole release
date. The circuit court denied relief, and Mann appeals. We
a bench trial, Mann was convicted in 2002 in the Circuit
Court of Greene County of first-degree assault of a law
enforcement officer, and an associated count of armed
criminal action. The convictions arose from an incident on
October 4, 2001, in which Mann fired a handgun at a
Springfield police officer who was attempting to detain him.
The circuit court sentenced Mann to life imprisonment on the
assault charge, and to ten years' imprisonment for armed
criminal action, with the sentences ordered to run
concurrently. A detailed description of the underlying
offense, and of Mann's prosecution, is contained in the
opinions of the Southern District affirming Mann's
convictions on direct appeal, and affirming the denial of his
motion for post-conviction relief. See State v.
Mann, 129 S.W.3d 462 (Mo. App. S.D. 2004); Mann v.
State, 245 S.W.3d 897 (Mo. App. S.D. 2008).
currently incarcerated at the South Central Correctional
Center in Licking. In October 2014, Mann received his first
parole hearing. Following that hearing, the Board issued an
order on November 17, 2014, granting Mann parole and ordering
that he be released from confinement on October 5, 2016.
March 7, 2016, the Board cancelled Mann's parole release
date. The Board rescinded its earlier order based on its
determination that first-degree assault of a law enforcement
officer is a "dangerous felony" within the meaning
of § 556.061(8),  and that Mann is therefore required to
serve eighty-five percent of his sentence before becoming
eligible for parole pursuant to § 558.019.3. The Board
set a new parole hearing in 2025.
April 22, 2016, Mann filed a petition for a writ of mandamus
challenging the Board's action in the Circuit Court of
Cole County. The circuit court issued a preliminary writ of
mandamus on April 25, 2016. After briefing and argument,
however, the court quashed its preliminary writ and denied
Standard of Review
An appeal will lie from the denial of a writ petition when a
lower court issued a preliminary order in mandamus but then
denied a permanent writ. . . . An appellate court reviews the
denial of a petition for a writ of mandamus for an abuse of
discretion. An abuse of discretion in denying a writ occurs
when the circuit court misapplies the applicable statutes.
U.S. Dep't of Veterans Affairs v. Boresi, 396 S.W.3d 356,
358-59 (Mo. banc 2013)
(citations omitted). "Where . . . issuance of the
writ depends on the interpretation of a statute, this Court
reviews the statute's meaning de novo."
State ex rel. White Family P'ship v. Roldan, 271
S.W.3d 569, 572 (Mo. banc 2008) (citation omitted).
argues that the circuit court should have granted him
mandamus relief, because the Board erroneously concluded that
his offense constituted a "dangerous felony." We
begin with the text of the relevant statutes. Mann was
convicted of first-degree assault of a law enforcement
officer under § 565.081. At the time of his offense in
2001, § 565.081 provided:
1. A person commits the crime of assault of a law enforcement
officer in the first degree if he attempts to kill or
knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical ...