Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY Honorable Calvin R.
Holden, Judge AFFIRMED
E. SCOTT, J.
Deputy Matthew Chism's tragic death, jurors found Joshua
Brown ("Defendant") guilty of four related
felonies. The trial court accepted two of those verdicts and
sentenced Defendant thereon, but entered a judgment of
acquittal on felony murder (§ 565.021) and its predicate
offense of hindering prosecution (§ 575-030), ruling
that the state had not made a submissible case on the latter.
state appeals, urging that it made a submissible case on
hindering prosecution (Point I) and, thus, also felony murder
(Point II). Having carefully considered the record and the
hindering-prosecution statute, we cannot agree, and therefore
must affirm the trial court's judgment.
El Dorado Springs shortly after midnight, Deputy Chism met a
vehicle with a headlight out. He got behind the vehicle, then
activated his lights and siren. The vehicle sped off. Deputy
Chism gave chase. The vehicle ran several stop signs at
highway speed with the deputy in pursuit. After some 12
blocks, the vehicle slowed. A passenger in dark clothes with
a backpack jumped out and ran. The vehicle sped off again as
its driver tossed methamphetamine out the window.
Chism stopped his patrol car, got out, chased the passenger
on foot, caught him, and tried to subdue him. The passenger
broke free and ran a distance further before shots were
exchanged, mortally wounding both men.
passenger, identified as William Collins, was a felon whose
backpack contained a rubber mask, latex gloves, burglar
tools, Ziploc baggies, and a digital scale that tested
positive for methamphetamine residue. The gun with which he
killed Deputy Chism also was recovered at the scene.
the driver, was later apprehended. As relevant here, he was
tried on charges of hindering prosecution and, based thereon,
felony murder. The state's hindering theory, as charged
and instructed at trial, was that Defendant created a
"diversion" to help Collins avoid apprehension by
speeding off in a different direction than Collins was
running. The jury found Defendant guilty of that offense and
felony murder predicated thereon, after which the court
granted judgment of acquittal on both charges as previously
I - Hindering Prosecution
appeal, the parties focus on the hindering charge because
Defendant had to be guilty of it to be guilty of felony
murder. We quote our statute, § 575.030,
emphasizing the state's theory of guilt below and on
person commits the offense of hindering prosecution if, for
the purpose of preventing the apprehension, prosecution,
conviction or punishment of another person for conduct
constituting an offense, he or she:
(1) Harbors or conceals such person; or
(2) Warns such person of impending discovery or apprehension,
except this does not apply to a warning given in connection
with an effort to bring another into compliance with the law;
(3) Provides such person with money, transportation, weapon,
disguise or other means to aid him in avoiding ...