FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF STODDARD COUNTY Honorable Robert N.
Mayer, Presiding Judge
WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., J.
a jury trial, Terry Lee Davis ("Davis") was found
guilty of distribution of a controlled substance, pursuant to
section 195.211. The trial court sentenced Davis to 10
years in the Department of Corrections, as a prior and
persistent offender. On appeal, Davis argues in his sole
point that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting
State's Exhibit 2, a DVD containing audio and video of
the drug transaction involving Davis, as it contained
evidence of "uncharged bad acts." Finding no merit
in Davis' point, we affirm his conviction.
and Procedural History
does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to support
his convictions. We therefore limit our discussion of the
facts to those necessary for resolution. We view the evidence
in the light most favorable to the jury's finding of
guilt. State v. Taylor, 298 S.W.3d 482, 491 (Mo.
morning of November 10, 2015, Deputy Keith Haynes
("Deputy Haynes"), of the Stoddard County
Sheriff's Office and the SEMO Drug Task Force, received a
call from a confidential informant ("C.I."), who
told Davis that her main supplier had a quarter gram of
methamphetamine he could sell her for $25. Deputy Haynes
instructed C.I. to set up the drug buy for that day.
Haynes subsequently met with C.I., and searched her and the
vehicle for narcotics that could be used to "set . . .
Davis up." Deputy Haynes then provided C.I. with $25 and
an audio/video recorder, disguised as a car key fob. He
turned the recorder on, announced the date, time, and the
suspect's name-Davis-for the recording, and handed it to
C.I., who then got into her vehicle. Deputy Haynes followed
in an unmarked car.
met up with Davis, who got in her vehicle, and they drove
off. Deputy Haynes followed, attempting to call C.I. several
times because the plan for the controlled buy was not for
Davis to get into C.I.'s vehicle. C.I. drove to the home
of Davis' mother at his request, which C.I. agreed to do
so as not to arouse suspicion.
way, C.I. asked Davis if the methamphetamine she was buying
was any good, to which Davis reassured her that it was very
good. Davis indicated that the only complaints he had about
the methamphetamine was that it was too weak, and that was
only because a portion had been split among too many
people-it had nothing to do with the quality of the
methamphetamine. Further, Davis told C.I. that he was able to
exchange methamphetamine for rent. Davis also told C.I. where
he got the methamphetamine and how much it cost. Davis gave
C.I. "a quarter of crystal meth and three needles"
in exchange for $25 before getting out of the vehicle.
Davis exited her vehicle, C.I. met up with Deputy Haynes and
turned over the packet of methamphetamine and needles, along
with the recording device.
packet of suspected methamphetamine was submitted to the
Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory for analysis,
where it was determined to be methamphetamine.
was charged by information with the class B felony of
distribution of a controlled substance by knowingly
distributing methamphetamine to C.I.
"Fourth Motion in Limine, " Davis asked the trial
court to prohibit the State from presenting evidence of or
referring to the fact that "[Davis] had engaged in drug
sales to people other than to [C.I., ]" because
"[a]ny evidence of distribution of a controlled
substance to anyone else is irrelevant and extremely
prejudicial[, ]" in that "the sole reason [for
offering such evidence] would be to show that [Davis] has a
propensity to commit the crime for which he is charged."
a pretrial hearing on the fourth motion in limine, defense
counsel specifically referred the trial court to the
audio/video recording of the sale-during which Davis
discussed distributing methamphetamine to his landlord-and
argued that those portions of the recording should be
excluded. Additionally, defense counsel later referred to a
portion of the recording in which Davis told C.I. that
another individual had complained about the quality of his
product. The State responded by arguing that it was not
propensity evidence, but rather was admissible under the
"complete picture exception, " in that the evidence
was Davis' own statements made during the drug sale to
reassure his customer of the quality of his product in order
to complete the transaction. After taking the motion under
advisement and reviewing the recording, the trial court
denied Davis' fourth motion in limine stating that the
evidence was "properly related and logically relevant to
the crime at issue[.]" The trial court later clarified
that it also found the evidence "legally relevant in the
trial was held on October 21, 2016. Davis did not testify or
present any evidence. The recording of the drug buy was
played for the jury during the State's opening statement.
Commenting between portions of the recording, the prosecutor
told the jury that after C.I. asked Davis if the
"stuff" was good, Davis reassured C.I. of the
quality of the methamphetamine he was selling her, and that
Davis "brought up . . . someone else who had bought
methamphetamine[, ]" at which point defense counsel
objected stating, "I will object based on my Fourth
Motion in Limine." Defense counsel further asked
"that my objection be a continuing throughout the entire
trial[, ]" so that she did not "have to keep
jumping up and down interrupting [the prosecutor]." The
trial court overruled the objection, and granted the request
that the objection be continuing.
prosecutor then noted that, in the course of the drug
transaction, Davis talked about how another person had
complained about the quality of the methamphetamine Davis had
sold him, but Davis reassured C.I. that the other buyer's
complaint arose from the fact that Davis had split a quarter
gram of methamphetamine between three people so it was an
issue related to quantity rather than quality.
prosecutor also noted that Davis spoke about his living
arrangements, the cost of his rent, and the fact that he was
exchanging methamphetamine for rent. Specifically, Davis told
C.I. that his rent was $125, but that his landlord had agreed
to take one-and-one-quarter grams of methamphetamine in lieu
end of the State's direct examination of Deputy Haynes,
the prosecutor offered State's Exhibit 2, the audio/video
recording of the controlled buy, to which defense counsel
stated, "No objection." The trial court responded,
"Hearing no objection, the Court shall receive
State's Exhibit 2 into evidence."
jury found Davis guilty of distribution of a controlled
substance and the trial court sentenced Davis, as a prior and