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State v. Shaw

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

December 12, 2017

STATE OF MISSOURI, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
CHARLES C. SHAW, III, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF POLK COUNTY Honorable Michael O'Brien Hendrickson

         AFFIRMED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS

          DON E. BURRELL, J.

         Charles C. Shaw, III ("Defendant") waived his right to a jury trial, and the trial court found him guilty of the class-B felony of assault in the first degree. See section 565.050.[1] The trial court sentenced Defendant to serve 15-years -- the maximum punishment allowed for a class-B felony -- in the Department of Corrections ("DOC"). See section 558.011, RSMo Cum. Supp. 2013.

         In his single point on appeal, Defendant claims,

The trial court erred or plainly erred in entering judgment on the class B felony of assault in the first degree and in sentencing [Defendant] to fifteen years imprisonment, because this violated [Defendant]'s right to due process of law as guaranteed by [the appropriate provisions of the constitutions of the United States and the State of Missouri], in that the information charging [Defendant] with assault in the first degree actually charged an attempted assault pursuant to Section 564.011, which is a class C felony rather than a class B felony. Thus, [Defendant]'s fifteen year sentence resulted in a manifest injustice since the greatest sentence he should have received for this class C felony was seven years imprisonment.

(Emphasis added.)

         Defendant concedes that he failed to raise this claim at the time of his sentencing, and he seeks plain-error review under Rule 30.20. Finding no error, plain or otherwise as to this issue, we affirm Defendant's conviction and sentence. However, the judgment reflects that the charge was resolved by "Guilty Plea[, ]" despite the trial court's finding of guilt following a bench trial. We therefore remand the matter "to the trial court with instructions to enter a corrected judgment accurately reflecting the nature of the proceedings below." State v. Fuller, 267 S.W.3d 764, 767 (Mo. App. S.D. 2008).

         Applicable Principles of Review and Governing Law

         An issue not properly preserved for appellate review "may be reviewed for plain error only[.]" State v. Storey, 40 S.W.3d 898, 903 (Mo. banc 2001). Plain-error relief requires "evident, obvious, and clear" error and a resulting manifest injustice or miscarriage of justice. State v. Baumruk, 280 S.W.3d 600, 607-08 (Mo. banc 2009) (quotation omitted); Rule 30.20. "[D]ue process requires that a defendant may not be convicted of an offense not charged in the information or indictment[, ]" State v. Miller, 372 S.W.3d 455, 467 (Mo. banc 2012), and "[a]n unauthorized sentence affects substantial rights and results in manifest injustice." State v. Anderson, 294 S.W.3d 96, 98 (Mo. App. E.D. 2009).

          At the time of Defendant's conduct, the authorized term of imprisonment for a class-B felony was "a term of years not less than five years and not to exceed fifteen years[, ]" and for a class-C felony, "a term of years not to exceed seven years[.]" Section 558.011.1(2)-(3).

         Background

         On the morning of June 10, 2013, Defendant, a patient in the geriatric psychiatric treatment unit of Citizen's Memorial Hospital in Bolivar ("hospital"), claimed he was not feeling well and requested assistance from Victim, a hospital nurse. Victim entered Defendant's room and found him in the bathroom holding a Styrofoam cup. Defendant then started screaming and threw "a liquid substance" from the cup at Victim's face. Victim ran into the hallway, but Defendant caught up to her, slammed her against a wall, and began pounding her head multiple times with his fists while she was on the ground. Victim lost consciousness during the attack, and another hospital staff member ...


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