Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Staten

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division

July 18, 2017

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
JAMAR MARKEISE STATEN, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Pettis County, Missouri The Honorable Robert L. Koffman, Judge

          Before: James E. Welsh, Presiding Judge, Lisa White Hardwick, Judge and Gary D. Witt, Judge

          Gary D. Witt, Judge

         The Appellant Jamar Staten ("Staten") appeals from his convictions following a jury trial before the Circuit Court of Pettis County, for one count of assault in the first degree, section 565.050, and one count of armed criminal action, section 571.015.[1] Staten argues that the trial court abused its discretion in overruling his motion for a mistrial following voir dire because the venire panel was tainted by the comments of a veniremember that resulted in a violation of Staten's rights to due process, a fair and impartial jury, and to be tried only for the crimes charged. We affirm.

         Factual Background

         Staten was indicted on September 16, 2015 for one count of assault in the first degree and one count of armed criminal action. At trial, the evidence was that Staten and his brother Rodney Jackson ("Jackson") went to a party attended by Jackson's girlfriend Crystal Coke ("Coke") on or about August 2, 2015. Coke refused to leave the party and had an argument with Jackson. The hosts of the party, Alex and Shandi Kosgei, requested that Jackson and Staten leave. The two men left the party but returned shortly thereafter. A confrontation ensued between Alex Kosgei ("Alex"),[2] Coke, Staten, and Jackson that resulted in the stabbing of Alex. Alex testified that Staten lunged toward him and stabbed him in the stomach. Two additional witnesses testified that they saw Staten lunge toward Alex, which was followed by Alex dropping to the ground with a stab wound.

         Prior to trial during voir dire, the prosecutor asked the venire panel whether anyone had prior dealings with himself or defense counsel. Veniremember #47[3] responded as follows:

[VENIREMEMBER #47]: I am a retired State Trooper for the State of Missouri, and I've had dealings with the Defendant's family down through the years.
[PROSECUTOR]: Okay.
[VENIREMEMBER #47]: And I've worked hand in hand with the prosecutor's office.
[PROSECUTOR]: Okay. Are those prior dealings, do you think, would lead you to be incapable of being fair and impartial here today?
[VENIREMEMBER #47]: Not necessarily, but I've got to be honest with you and tell you I think it has influenced me somewhat.

         Later, when asked by defense counsel whether anyone on the panel knew Staten's family, Veniremember #47 responded that he "[knew] them professionally, the family for the past 20 years."

         Following the public examination of the venire panel, the court addressed private answers from persons on the panel out of the hearing of the rest of the panel. Of relevance here, Veniremember #25 had the following exchange with the trial court and counsel:

THE COURT: Next, Number 25. That's [Veniremember #25]. You wish to respond further?
[VENIREMEMBER #25]: Yes. I believe -- I'm not -- I'm not sure, but there was an officer behind me, I believe it was [Veniremember #47].
THE COURT: Uh-huh.
[VENIREMEMBER #25]: And he stated if he had any experience with the Defendant, and he so stated that, yes, he did, and it had to do with some drug-related charges.
THE COURT: Uh-huh.
[VENIREMEMBER #25]: I believe that's what I heard. And so, it just seems to me that automatically, the panel knows the Defendant has priors, and specifically drug cases. It seems to me, not having ever served on a jury before, that that would ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.