Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division
HARVEY L. SHOATE, Appellant,
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent.
from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri The
Honorable Patrick W. Campbell, Judge
Thomas H. Newton, Presiding Judge, and James Edward Welsh and
Karen King Mitchell, Judges
KING MITCHELL, JUDGE
Shoate, Jr., appeals, following an evidentiary hearing, from
the grant of his Rule 24.035 motion for post-conviction
relief. Though Shoate's sentences were vacated and the
motion court awarded him a new sentencing hearing, Shoate
argues that one of the motion court's findings was
clearly erroneous and that the relief awarded was too broad.
Because the right to appeal is limited to parties that are
aggrieved by a lower court's judgment and Shoate is not
aggrieved, we dismiss this appeal.
was charged, as a persistent felony offender, with one count
of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and three counts of
second-degree assault after he drove with a blood alcohol
content of .226 and caused a collision between his vehicle
and that of the Godding family, resulting in the death of
Gregory Godding (the father) and severe injuries to Donna
Godding (the mother) and the two Godding children. Shoate had
been released on parole from a prior incarceration just 36
hours before the collision with the Godding vehicle.
decided to plead guilty to the charges. At the plea hearing,
the court discussed the existence of a plea agreement with
Q My understanding the plea agreement-there is a basic plea
understanding which is you're going to plead guilty to
all of the charges and that sentencing will be deferred, and
it will be left totally to me to make my best judgment.
Q And the only agreement is the sentences will run
concurrently with each other. In other words running all at
the same time; do you understand that?
A Yes, sir.
court then advised Shoate of the various rights attendant to
a trial that he was relinquishing through his guilty plea, as
well as the range of punishment for his charged crimes.
Shoate acknowledged understanding all of it and reiterated
his intent to plead guilty. Shoate denied any threats,
coercion, or promises inducing his pleas and acknowledged
that he was pleading guilty of his own free will because he
was, in fact, guilty as charged. Shoate expressed
satisfaction with plea counsel and denied having any
complaints. The court accepted Shoate's guilty pleas,
ordered a Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR), and deferred
the matter for sentencing.
sentencing hearing, the court received victim-impact
testimony from Donna Godding, one of the two Godding
children, Gregory Godding's mother, and Gregory
Godding's cousin, as well as mitigation evidence from
Shoate's fiancée and her daughter, Shoate's
neighbor, and Shoate's mother, along with a statement
from Shoate. The court also received the SAR, which indicated
that Shoate had a total of ten prior felony convictions-four
of which involved driving while intoxicated, and suggested a
sentence of twenty-five to thirty years The State argued for
a twenty-five-year sentence on manslaughter, concurrent with
ten-year sentences on each assault, specifically noting that
Shoate would be required to serve at least 85% of the
mitigation, Plea Counsel argued that sentences of twenty-five
or thirty years should be reserved for those who
intentionally take a life and, while Shoate's actions
were reckless and irresponsible, he never intended to take a
life. Plea Counsel acknowledged that Shoate deserved
imprisonment of some kind but also a chance for treatment and
rehabilitation. Plea Counsel then proposed "a creative
way to satisfy everybody":
I came up with a structure, and I would like to propose it to
Your Honor. If we could give him the minimum on the greatest
charge-on the enhanced B felony, give him the minimum on
that, but then run consecutive all the vehicular assaults,
the Cs, which have the ability to be charged, I believe, up
to 15, the court has discretion to do what they want, and run
those with a suspended execution of sentence consecutive so
that Mr. Shoate can go out, do what he's got to do, and
then come out.
court then pronounced sentence, along with its rationale for
the sentence it was imposing:
In the State of Missouri under this new statute, if you kill
someone in a car accident, in some situations it is an 85
percent crime. This case that he faces is an 85 percent
So there are various ways to get at sentences, but if you
give a sentence of 25 years on the underlying offense,
it's a much different sentence than if you give them 25
years somewhere else.
25 years on the underlying offense would mean that he would
serve 85 percent of that day for day before he's
released. He would have a little time on parole afterwards.
If you give him a sentence under another statute like, for
example, the assault statutes that apply to the mother and
the two children, those are not 85 percent sentences, and he
can be subject to parole on those sentences, which means he
would be subject to supervision. If he violated his parole,
he would then be subject to go back on those sentences and
his supervision would be longer.
. . .
I think that the integrity of the system-I think when you
have this kind of carnage and you have the record of Mr.
Shoate, it has to be a significant sentence. The dignity of
the system requires it.
By the same token, I'm not sure to have him have no hope
of parole ever or at least for an extended period of time,
whether that's necessarily the right thing to do either.
So here is what I have done, and I'll explain to you what
it is when I'm done.
As relates to Count 1, I'm going to sentence him to 12
years in the Missouri Division of Adult Institutions.
Further, on Counts 2, 3, and 4 I'm going to sentence him
to 12 years in the Missouri Division of Adult Institutions.
Counts 2, 3, and 4 shall run concurrently with each other,
but they will run consecutively to the sentence imposed in
Count 1 for a total of 24 years.
. . .
The sentence I have imposed, if there is any question about
it, he's received a 24-year sentence of which he is not
eligible for parole until after 85 percent of 12 years.
That's the sentence that I have ...