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State v. Sanders-Ford

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

September 25, 2017

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
CONNIE R. SANDERS-FORD, Appellant.

         APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF MCDONALD COUNTY Honorable Timothy W. Perigo, Judge AFFIRMED

          OPINION

          DANIEL E. SCOTT, J.

         Appellant ("Defendant") killed her former lover ("Victim") and was convicted of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. She complains that (1) the state failed to show that she deliberated before the slaying, and (2) the trial court erred in not granting a mistrial. We affirm the convictions.

         Background[1]

         Victim's wife was fixing supper at home when Defendant walked in, introduced herself, said she and Victim had "been having an affair for over a year" and "I'm here to tell you so that he can leave you, " called Victim's wife "pathetic, " then spent the next month trying to break up the marriage:

• Defendant repeatedly returned to Victim's home to make trouble. Once the police had to be called to get her to leave.
• Defendant stalked Victim's wife at her job, her home, and on the streets. Victim's wife drove to the sheriff's office on one occasion and Defendant followed her inside.
• Defendant offered Victim's adult son a financial incentive to convince Victim to abandon the marriage. When the son refused and told Defendant to leave them alone, Defendant threatened to shoot Victim and herself.
• Defendant went to the son's house, argued with Victim, and pulled a gun, which Victim took away from her.
• Defendant threatened to "destroy" Victim's family by telling the whole town about the affair, then went to the local newspaper and angrily demanded that a story be written about Victim.
• While Victim's wife was at the courthouse seeking an order of protection, Defendant approached and handed her a purported "love contract" between Defendant and Victim.
• Defendant called Victim and threatened to shoot herself because he would not leave his wife. Victim then heard a gunshot, hung up, and called 911. Police found Defendant at the cemetery, lying near grave plots owned by Victim and his wife.

         Meanwhile, Victim sought to sever financial ties with Defendant, [2] then he, his wife, and his son all obtained ex parte orders of protection against her. Later that day, Defendant confronted Victim at his son's house and threatened to shoot Victim and his son unless the orders of protection were dropped.

          Two days before the hearing date on full orders of protection against Defendant, she shot Victim in the chest at the front door to his home. As he succumbed, Defendant fled to a friend's house, ...


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