Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Robinson v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division

February 20, 2018

JOSEPH ROBINSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis 1522-CC10826 Honorable Rex M. Burlison

          Gary M. Gaertner, Jr., Presiding Judge

          Introduction

          Joseph Robinson (Movant) appeals the judgment of the motion court denying in part his Rule 24.035[1] Motion after an evidentiary hearing. Movant argues the motion court clearly erred in failing to correct a material discrepancy between the plea court's oral pronouncement and its written order regarding Movant's sentence. We affirm.

         Background

         On March 9, 2015, Movant pled guilty to a total of 19 charges, which were numbered counts I through XVIII, and XXI.[2] There were six counts of the class A felony of robbery in the first degree (Counts III, V, VII, IX, XI, and XVII), eight counts of the unclassified felony of armed criminal action (Counts IV, VI, VIII, X, XII, XIV, XVI, and XVIII), one count of the class C felony of burglary in the second degree (Count I), two counts of the class C felony of stealing (Counts II and XXI), one count of the class B felony of attempted robbery in the first degree (Count XIII), and one count of the class B felony of assault in the first degree (Count XV). The plea court grouped the counts together according to the class of felony and sentenced Movant accordingly, starting with concurrent sentences of 15 years for each of the six class A first-degree robbery felonies. The plea court sentenced Movant to concurrent sentences of 20 years for each of the eight counts of armed criminal action, to run concurrently with all other counts. The plea court then addressed the class B felonies in Counts XIII and XV, sentencing Movant to concurrent terms of 15 years for each count, to run concurrently with all other counts. The plea court concluded Movant's sentencing as follows:

And as to the class C felonies, Counts I, II, and XI, it will be the judgment and sentence of the Court that you be committed to the Missouri Department of Corrections for a term of five years on each of those counts.

         All of those counts, again, will run concurrent with each other.

         The plea court's written sentences for Movant reflected its oral pronouncements, except for this final group of class C felonies. The court's oral pronouncement listed Count XI among the class C felonies, though Count XI was one of the six class A felonies. Count XXI was the third class C felony, which the plea court did not mention explicitly in its oral pronouncement at all. In its written sentence, the plea court listed a 15-year sentence for Count XI and a five-year sentence for Count XXI.

         Movant timely filed a motion for post-conviction relief under Rule 24.035, and later an amended motion through counsel, asserting several claims for relief. Among them, Movant argued that the plea court erred by entering written sentences for Counts XI and XXI that materially differed from the oral sentences the court pronounced at Movant's sentencing hearing. Movant further argued that the plea court erroneously made a finding in its written judgment that Movant was a prior and persistent offender, when the State had not charged Movant as a prior and persistent offender nor had the State presented evidence to support such a finding.

         The motion court held an evidentiary hearing, after which it granted Movant's motion in part and denied it in part. The motion court agreed that the written judgment erroneously found Movant to be a persistent offender, and the court ordered that finding stricken from the judgment. Regarding sentencing for Counts XI and XXI, the motion court, who was also the plea court in this case, examined the record and determined that the singular pronouncement mentioning Count XI as a class C felony in the transcript was not sufficiently confusing or material in light of the rest of the transcript making clear that the court's intention was to sentence Movant as reflected in the written judgment. This appeal follows.

         Standard of Review

         Our review of the motion court's denial of Movant's Rule 24.035 Motion is limited to a determination of whether the findings and conclusions of the motion court are clearly erroneous. Rule 24.035(k); Johnson v. State. 446 S.W.3d 274, 276 (Mo. App. E.D. 2014). Findings and conclusions are clearly erroneous if, after a review of the entire record, we are left with the definite and firm impression that a mistake has been made. Johnson, 446 S.W.3d at 276.

          Discussion

         Movant raises two points on appeal. First, he argues that the motion court clearly erred in failing to correct the sentences for Counts XI and XXI in this case, or alternatively, to resentence Movant for both counts, because the oral pronouncement materially differed from the written judgment, and the oral pronouncement controls. In Point II, Movant requests plain error relief regarding his convictions and sentences for the charged stealing offenses.

         Point I

         Movant argues that the motion court clearly erred in failing to amend the plea court's judgment to reflect the oral pronouncement at sentencing. We disagree.

         The general rule in Missouri Courts of Appeals has been that "where an oral pronouncement of [a defendant's] sentence is inconsistent with the written sentence, the oral pronouncement controls." Johnson v. State, 938 S.W.2d 264, 264 (Mo. banc 1997). The Missouri Supreme Court has declined to decide whether the oral pronouncement "always controls, " but has held nevertheless that "such a rule can have no application where either: (1) the record shows that the oral sentence was not materially different from the written one, or (2) the judge has no discretion to pronounce a sentence different from the written sentence." Id. at 265. First, we must determine what the oral pronouncement actually was, and where it is "ambiguous or... silent on a particular issue, nothing prevents an appellate court from examining the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.