Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri The Honorable
Patricia S. Joyce, Judge.
Before: Victor C. Howard, Presiding Judge, Cynthia L. Martin,
Judge and Gary D. Witt, Judge.
Cynthia L. Martin, Judge.
R. Kendrick ("Kendrick") appeals from the trial
court's judgment convicting him of one count of unlawful
use of a weapon. Kendrick asserts that the trial court
committed plain error in failing to instruct the jury sua
sponte on his right of self-defense. Kendrick asserts
that there was substantial evidence to support each of the
prerequisites for self-defense so that he was entitled to a
self-defense instruction even though he did not request one.
and Procedural History
case revolves around an altercation between Kendrick and
Steven Williams ("Williams") on March 29, 2014,
inside Kendrick's residence in Jefferson City, Missouri.
The State charged Kendrick with one count of unlawful use of
a weapon in violation of section 571.030.1(4). The information
alleged that Kendrick "knowingly exhibited, in the
presence of one or more persons a .45 Caliber pistol, a
weapon readily capable of lethal use, in an angry or
threatening manner." At trial, the State and Kendrick
provided differing versions of what happened on March 29,
2014. We set forth both versions because the issue to be
decided in this appeal requires that we consider the evidence
in the light most favorable to the defense. State v.
Bruner, No. SC95877, 2018 WL 414948, at *4 (Mo. banc
Jan. 16, 2018).
Version Presented by the State
testified that he and his wife traveled from their home in
Grandview, Missouri to Jefferson City on March 29, 2014, to
help his daughter move to Kansas City. Williams testified
that he arrived in Jefferson City between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00
p.m. and met his daughter in a parking lot. Williams then
followed his daughter to the residence she shared with
Kendrick at 212 Dunford Street. Upon their arrival at the
residence, Williams's daughter knocked on the door, and
Kendrick let her in the house. Williams's daughter
motioned for Williams to follow her into the residence.
Williams's daughter went to the back of the residence,
where the washer and dryer were located, to pack her clothes.
Williams helped his daughter pack her belongings, taking them
out of the house and loading them into a moving truck.
testified that, after approximately ten minutes, he saw
Kendrick grab his daughter around her neck. Williams stopped
what he was doing and said, "Let her go." Williams
testified that, after his daughter and Kendrick struggled for
a few minutes, Kendrick let her go, and she ran out of the
house. Williams was in the residence's living room with
his grandchildren when Kendrick approached Williams with a
handgun. Kendrick had the handgun pointed toward Williams.
Williams yelled at his wife, who was outside, to "[g]et
the kids" and "[c]all 911." Williams testified
that Kendrick pointed the handgun at him for approximately
three to four minutes. During that time, Williams said,
"Do you want to put yourself in a man's position? Do
you want to put yourself in this position?" Williams
testified that Kendrick did not respond and kept pointing the
handgun toward him.
testified that Kendrick lowered the handgun as a police
officer approached the residence's front door. Williams
testified that, at that point, Kendrick unloaded the handgun
and set it down in the kitchen. Williams testified that,
after Kendrick put the handgun down, and while the officer
was in the residence, Williams pushed Kendrick, and the two
had a physical altercation. Williams testified that a police
officer separated the two men, after which Williams went
Joshua Hagemeyer ("Officer Hagemeyer"), the police
officer who responded to the disturbance between Kendrick and
Williams, testified that he responded to a call at 212
Dunford Street. Officer Hagemeyer testified that, as he
approached the residence, he looked through the front door
and saw Kendrick pointing a handgun at Williams while the two
men were in the kitchen. At that point, Officer Hagemeyer
unholstered his gun, pointed it in Kendrick's direction,
and ordered Kendrick to drop the handgun. After Officer
Hagemeyer yelled the command several times, Kendrick placed
the handgun on the kitchen counter. Officer Hagemeyer
testified that Williams took a couple steps back, and
Kendrick picked up the handgun again. Officer Hagemeyer
repeated the command to drop the handgun. Kendrick removed
the magazine, racked the slide on the handgun to remove the
round from the chamber, and then placed it back on the
Hagemeyer testified that, after Kendrick set the handgun down
a second time, Williams grabbed Kendrick, pulling him away
from the kitchen and into the living room. Officer Hagemeyer
used his radio to call for assistance from a backup officer.
Officer Hagemeyer holstered his gun and separated the two
men. Officer Hagemeyer asked Kendrick what happened, but
Kendrick did not respond and instead walked to the back room
in the house. Officer Hagemeyer testified that he then
grabbed Kendrick's arms and forced him facedown onto a
mattress until a second officer could assist in handcuffing
Kendrick. Officer Hagemeyer escorted Kendrick out of the
residence and into the rear seat of a patrol vehicle before
transporting him to the Cole County Jail.
Hagemeyer testified that, later that evening, he interviewed
Kendrick at the Cole County Jail. Officer Hagemeyer testified
that Kendrick told Officer Hagemeyer that "Williams had
come in and immediately started aggressively moving towards
him in a threatening manner." Kendrick told Officer
Hagemeyer that it was at this point that he retrieved his
handgun. Later in the interview, Kendrick told Officer
Hagemeyer that he "might not be telling . . . the whole
Version Presented by Kendrick
testified in his own defense, providing his account of the
events that took place on March 29, 2014. Kendrick testified
that, initially, Williams did not say anything threatening or
act in any way that was threatening. Kendrick testified that
the altercation between the two began when Williams pushed
Kendrick two times and raised his voice. Kendrick testified
that he told Williams to leave, but Williams pushed Kendrick
a third time. At that point, Kendrick went to his bedroom to
grab a handgun from the closet. According to Kendrick,
Williams was standing in the doorway to the bedroom at that
time. Kendrick testified that, while in the bedroom, he
removed the handgun's magazine because he was not
planning to use it. Kendrick testified that he had the
handgun by his side the entire time and that he never pointed
it toward Williams.
testified that he then saw a police officer outside the
house. At that point, Kendrick placed the handgun on the
kitchen counter. Kendrick testified that, as the officer
approached the house, Kendrick walked toward the front door
to meet the officer. Williams was walking behind Kendrick and
shoving him. Kendrick testified that the officer ordered both
men to walk back into the kitchen. Williams then grabbed
Kendrick from behind and tried to force him into submission.
In particular, Williams tried to choke Kendrick from behind.
Kendrick testified that he walked toward his room to retrieve
his shoes and cell phone, but Officer Hagemeyer forced him to
the bed and placed him in handcuffs. Kendrick testified that
Officer Hagemeyer later took him to the Cole County Jail.