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State v. Kendrick

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division

April 24, 2018


          Appeal 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.

         Kedric 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. We affirm.

         Factual and Procedural History

         This 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).[1] 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).

         The Version Presented by the State

         Williams 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.

         Williams 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.

         Williams 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 outside.

         Officer 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 counter.

         Officer 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.

         Officer 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 truth."

         The Version Presented by Kendrick

         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.

         Kendrick 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.

         Instructions and ...

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