Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Lafayette County, Missouri The
Honorable Dennis A. Rolf, Judge
Before: Anthony Rex Gabbert, Presiding Judge, Thomas H.
Newton, Judge and Gary D. Witt, Judge.
D. Witt, Judge.
Stone ("Stone") appeals the denial of his motions
for judgment of acquittal from the Circuit Court of Lafayette
County, Missouri. He was found guilty, following a jury
trial, of one count of burglary in the second degree, section
569.170, and one count of property damage in the
first degree, section 569.100 on a theory of accomplice
liability. On appeal, Stone contends that the trial court
erred in overruling his motions for judgment of acquittal
because the State's evidence was insufficient to support
Stone knowingly aided or encouraged Henry Hood
("Hood") in committing the offenses.
was charged with one count of burglary in the second degree
and one count of property damage in the first degree. These
charges arose out of a burglary of a residential house
located at 6670 WW Highway in Lafayette County, Missouri,
during the evening of March 12, 2015.
8:00 a.m. on March 12, 2015, Tiffany Gale ("Gale"),
an employee of Swim Things, winterized a pool at 6670 Highway
WW in Lafayette County. She hung a door hanger on the front
door indicating that the pool had been serviced. There was no
damage to the house when Gale was there. Later that day, Hood
called Stone to see if he wanted to make some money. Stone
said yes, and they drove to the house in Lafayette County.
They backed into the driveway. Hood told Stone he was going
to go into the house to get some money from the people
inside. Hood got out of the car, kicked in the side door to
the garage, forcing it open and went inside.
Allen ("Allen"), a neighbor was coming home and saw
the car in the driveway. She stopped because she knew the
owners were not home. She began to try and call the owners
from her cell phone. Stone drove the car to where Allen was
waiting in her car and stopped to talk with her. Stone said
he was from Swim Things, had been at the residence earlier
and needed something from the garage that he forgot. As Stone
drove away he turned onto the road toward its dead end. As he
turned onto the road, Hood came out of the house and ran
after the car. After seeing this take place, Allen called the
the police arrived at the residence, they found the side
garage door was forced open, and there was damage to the
interior residence door-indicating that it had been kicked
in. On the second floor of the home, there was a drawer taken
out of a dresser. James Curtis ("Curtis"), the
owner of the home, did not give permission for Stone or Hood
to enter his house. Curtis later testified the repair cost
were $2, 694.
time later, Ted Dickhout observed two males walking across
interstate 70. They appeared like they were "up to no
good" so he called 911. Police were dispatched to that
location. The same car that Allen observed leaving the home
was located in a ditch, where it appeared the driver had
attempted to cross from the dead end road onto the highway
but the car became stuck. Stone was located nearby sitting on
a rock under a bridge. Hood was later located at a nearby gas
station. An inventory search of the vehicle revealed the Swim
Thing door tag signed by Gale which she had left on the door
to the house earlier that day.
police questioned Stone about the alleged burglary. After
initially lying to police, Stone eventually said he did see
Hood kick the door into the house and go inside. Stone denied
that he saw Hood carry anything from the house to the car.
Stone admitted they went to the house to get money. Stone
claimed that he had been with Hood and another man the day
before driving around and that the other man had a gun. Stone
told police that he feared that Hood had taken out a contract
to kill Stone (put a "hit out" on him) and that he
feared for his life. When asked why he went with Hood in the
car the next day, if he was in fear for his life Stone
responded that he wanted to see how it played out.
of 2015, the case was tried to a jury. He was found guilty on
both counts: burglary in the second degree and property
damage in the first degree. Stone was sentenced to
consecutive sentences of seven years imprisonment for
burglary and two years' imprisonment for property damages
for a total sentence of nine years. Stone now appeals.
raises two points on appeal both challenging the sufficiency
of the evidence that he knowingly aided or encouraged Hood in
the commission of the offenses. Point I challenges the
offense of Burglary and Point II challenges the convictions
for Property Damage. Because the analysis for ...