Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of the City of Saint Louis
1422-CR03483-01 Honorable Michael F. Stelzer
M. Gaertner, Jr., Presiding Judge
Prince (Defendant) appeals from the trial court's
sentence and judgment of conviction for one count of
attempted sodomy in the first degree, one count of
kidnapping, and two counts of armed criminal action,
Defendant contends there was insufficient evidence to prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that he took substantial steps
toward the commission of attempted sodomy in the first degree
or that he committed the attempted sodomy in the first degree
with the aid of a deadly weapon. We affirm.
State charged Defendant as a prior felony offender with one
count of the class B felony of kidnapping, one count of the
unclassified felony of attempted sodomy in the first degree,
and two counts of armed criminal action. At the bench trial,
the evidence viewed in the light most favorable to the guilty
verdicts showed the following.
September of 2014, CM. (Victim) was on her way to school when
Defendant pulled up in a white car and started to compliment
her. Victim crossed the street to wait at a bus stop.
Defendant circled around the block, pointed a gun at Victim,
and told her to "get in the car." Victim, afraid of
what Defendant might do to her, entered his car. Meanwhile, a
local retired truck driver (the witness) was passing by while
taking his nephew and another child to school, and he noticed
a white car attempting to "pick up a little girl."
The witness decided to make a U-turn because he was curious
about what was happening and after observing for a while
called 911 to report the suspicious activity.
the gun on his lap, Defendant drove a few blocks and parked
the car. Defendant pulled down his pajama pants, leaned his
seat back, and told Victim to "suck his d-." Victim
resisted, and Defendant pointed his gun at Victim's head.
Victim then told Defendant, "[y]ou might as well just go
ahead and shoot me because you are going to shoot me
anyway[.]" While this was occurring, Saint Louis
Metropolitan Police Department Officers Aaron Webster and
Cortez Miles drove by Defendant's parked car and noted it
matched the description from a suspicious-person call they
had received earlier that morning. After the officers drove
by, Defendant started the car and began to drive in the
opposite direction. The officers made a U-turn and pulled the
Defendant over. Victim exited the car and ran toward the
officers, but Officer Webster told her to get back into the
car. Victim told Officer Webster that she needed help because
Defendant had a gun. Officer Miles then arrested Defendant.
While searching Defendant's car, Officer Miles found a
revolver behind the passenger seat.
way back from taking the children to school, the witness
observed that the police officers had pulled over the white
car he had noticed earlier that morning. He stopped to let
the officers know this was the same vehicle he had reported
trial, Defendant testified in his defense that Victim asked
Defendant for a ride to school. Defendant denied pointing a
gun at Victim and demanding oral sex. Defendant stated he is
partially paralyzed on the left side of his body due to a
gunshot wound to his head, so it is impossible for him to
hold the gun in his right hand and pull his pants down using
only his left hand.
close of evidence, the trial court found Defendant guilty on
all counts and sentenced him to a total of 18 years in the
Missouri Department of Corrections. This appeal follows.
sole point on appeal, Defendant alleges the trial court erred
in entering judgment against him because there was
insufficient evidence from which a reasonable trier of fact
could convict him of attempted sodomy in the first degree and
armed criminal action. Specifically, Defendant contends the State
failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Defendant took
a substantial step towards the commission of the offense of
sodomy in the first degree and that he used a deadly weapon
in the alleged offense. We disagree.