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State v. Thompson

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Special Division

February 6, 2018

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
CHARLES T. THOMPSON, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri The Honorable Patricia S. Joyce, Judge

          Before: Zel M. Fischer, Special Judge, Presiding, Cynthia L. Martin, Judge and Gary D. Witt, Judge

          Cynthia L. Martin, Judge

         Charles Thompson ("Thompson") appeals from the trial court's judgment convicting him of burglary in the first degree. Thompson claims that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Thompson also claims that the trial court committed plain error by failing to grant him allocution before pronouncing sentence. Finding no error, we affirm.

         Factual and Procedural Background[1]

         On Saturday, February 14, 2015, Thompson drove to Jefferson City with a female acquaintance. The couple stayed at an apartment belonging to Thompson's friend. At some point on Saturday, Thompson took a gun from an upstairs closet.

         On Sunday morning, Thompson left the apartment and met with Vincent Smith ("Smith"). Thompson and Smith talked about "going to take something from someone." Thompson and Smith decided to take drugs from Johnny Evans ("Evans"). Thompson and Smith knew that Evans would have drugs and money based on conversations with people in the neighborhood.

         Thompson and Smith asked Robert Burks ("Burks") for a ride to East High Street, where Evans lived. Thompson and Smith told Burks that they were going to East High Street to "get a lick off some weed." A "lick" refers to obtaining drugs or money illegally. Burks drove Thompson and Smith to East High Street.

         Thompson and Smith exited Burks's car and headed toward Evans's apartment. Burks saw Thompson pull a gun from his pocket. Thompson and Smith approached the backdoor of Evans's apartment. Smith kicked in the back door, and the two men entered. Smith testified that he and Thompson entered Evans's apartment to take drugs and money.

         Thompson and Smith found Evans lying on a couch in his living room. Thompson and Smith asked Evans for drugs. Evans said that he did not know what they were talking about. Smith began looking around the living room, and then heard a gunshot. Smith looked up and saw Thompson holding a gun. Thompson fired another shot, which Smith saw hit Evans. Thompson and Smith fled the apartment, and left the scene in Burks's car. Evans later died.

         The State charged Thompson with murder in the second degree, burglary in the first degree, attempted robbery in the first degree, and armed criminal action. The jury found Thompson guilty of burglary in the first degree. The jury acquitted Thompson on the other charges. Thompson waived jury sentencing. Prior to his sentencing hearing, Thompson filed a motion for new trial.

         At the sentencing hearing, the trial court asked defense counsel if he would like to make additional argument regarding the motion for new trial. Defense counsel advised that he would stand on the motion. The trial court then stated that it had reviewed Thompson's motion for new trial, and denied the motion. The trial court then heard counsel's arguments regarding sentencing before imposing a sentence of fifteen years' imprisonment.[2]

         This timely ...


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