Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of Perry County Honorable Michael E.
T. Quigless, J.
Lynn Allen ("Defendant") appeals from the judgment
of the trial court following a jury trial where he was found
guilty of one count of first-degree tampering, in violation
of Section 569.080. Defendant argues the trial court lacked
territorial jurisdiction because there was no evidence any
part of the offense occurred in Missouri, and the trial court
plainly erred in failing to give a jury instruction for the
lesser-included offense of second-degree tampering. We find
the trial court lacked jurisdiction to convict Defendant,
vacate the judgment as void, and order the Defendant
and Procedural Background
evening in February of 2014, the owner of a 1986 Ford pickup
truck parked his truck on the street in downtown Perryville,
Missouri and walked down the street to a bar. The owner left
the truck unlocked with the keys under the floor mat. When he
walked out of the bar less than an hour later, his truck was
gone. He walked down the street to the Perryville Police
Department and reported the truck missing. The owner also had
several items of personal property in the truck, including a
car stereo, a new chainsaw, ratchet straps, tow hitches, and
a tow chain hook. In total, the personal property was worth
just over $900. The Perryville Police put out a
alert for the vehicle.
six days later, Defendant went with some friends to the home
of Samantha and James Brummett in Knobel, Arkansas. While
there, Defendant asked if the Brummetts would be willing to
trade their Jeep Cherokee for a 1986 Ford pickup truck.
Defendant did not have the truck at the time. A deal was
made. The next day, Defendant drove the truck to the
Brummetts for the exchange, but Defendant did not have the
title to the truck. The Brummetts agreed to trade vehicles
that day, but they insisted on keeping the title to their
Jeep until Defendant delivered title to the truck. Defendant
left the truck with the Brummetts and drove away in the Jeep.
next day, the Sheriffs Department in Clay County, Arkansas
was contacted regarding the missing truck, given a
description of the vehicle, and informed that it may be
located in Knobel, Arkansas. Later that day, the truck was
found at the Brummetts' home. Ms. Brummett explained that
Defendant had traded the truck for their Jeep the previous
day. After verifying that the truck was the same vehicle that
had been taken from Perryville, Missouri a week earlier, the
deputies seized the truck, towed it to an impound yard, and
inventoried its contents. The deputies did not find any of
the owner's personal property in the truck. Defendant was
arrested later that day in Arkansas by the Clay County
was extradited to Missouri and charged with one count each of
first-degree tampering, for operating the truck without the
owner's permission, and felony stealing, for taking the
personal property in the truck. Defendant was not charged
with stealing the truck. The information alleged the crimes
occurred in Perry County, Missouri. A jury trial was held,
and Defendant was found guilty of first-degree tampering but
not guilty of stealing. The court sentenced Defendant to a
term of four years' imprisonment. This appeal follows.
raises two points on appeal. In Point I, Defendant argues the
trial court erred in denying his motion for judgment of
acquittal because the State did not prove his guilt beyond a
reasonable doubt, in that there was insufficient evidence
that Defendant operated the truck in Missouri, and therefore
insufficient evidence to prove the trial court had
territorial jurisdiction to prosecute him for the crime of
first-degree tampering. In Point II, Defendant argues the
trial court plainly erred in failing to give a jury
instruction for the lesser-included crime of second-degree
first point on appeal challenges the trial court's
jurisdiction to convict him of the offense of first-degree
tampering, arguing there was no evidence Defendant ever
operated the truck within Missouri, which was required for
the court to have jurisdiction. Defendant does not dispute
that Missouri would have had jurisdiction if the crimes were
committed as alleged in the information. Rather, Defendant
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, arguing the State
failed to prove the offense occurred within Missouri. We
challenging the trial court lacked jurisdiction because the
State failed to prove the offense occurred within Missouri
attacks the sufficiency of the evidence to support the
conviction. State v. Williams, 455 S.W.3d 1, 5-6
(Mo. App. S.D. 2013). Our review of the sufficiency of the
evidence is limited to whether the State introduced
sufficient evidence for a reasonable juror to find the
defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. State v.
Jeffrey, 400 S.W.3d 303, 312-13 (Mo. banc 2013). When
determining the sufficiency of the evidence to support a
conviction, appellate courts do not reweigh the evidence, but
accept as true all evidence tending to prove guilt together
with all reasonable inferences that support the verdict, and
ignore all contrary evidence and inferences. Id. at
313. However, we will not supply missing evidence, or give
the State the benefit of unreasonable, speculative, or forced
inferences. State v. Clark, 490 S.W.3d 704, 707 (Mo.
banc 2016); State v. Glass, 439 S.W.3d 838, 842 (Mo.
App. E.D. 2014).
569.080 provides: "A person commits the crime of
tampering in the first degree if.... (2) He or she knowingly
receives, possesses, sells, alters, defaces, destroys or
unlawfully operates an automobile, airplane, motorcycle,
motorboat or other motor-propelled vehicle without the
consent of the owner thereof." State v.
Plopper,489 S.W.3d 848, 853 (Mo. App. S.D. 2016).
Defendant was charged with ...