Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
JILLIAN M. CANNADY, Movant-Appellant,
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Respondent.
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY Honorable Thomas E.
Mountjoy, Circuit Judge.
WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., J.
M. Cannady ("Cannady") appeals from the judgment of
the motion court, following an evidentiary hearing, denying
her amended Rule 29.15 motion to set aside her conviction for
first-degree assault. In two points on appeal, Cannady argues
that the motion court clearly erred in denying her
post-conviction motion, contending that trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to consistently object to hearsay
testimony, and that Cannady was prejudiced thereby. Because
the motion court's denial of Cannady's Rule 29.15
motion was not clearly erroneous, we affirm.
and Procedural Background
"facts, " for purposes of our review, are derived
from the evidence (and reasonable inferences therefrom), when
viewed in the light most favorable to the motion court's
judgment. Day v. State, 495 S.W.3d 773, 774 (Mo.App.
had been romantically involved with Lance Hill
("Hill") for eight years, and he was the father of
her two children. The couple broke up in July 2009, and Hill
moved in with his mother. Cannady also had two children by
Hill, and was staying at the home of Hill's mother during
the 2009 Christmas season. Hill's half-brother, Michael
Harris ("Harris), also resided at the household.
January 9, 2010, at approximately 2:30 a.m., Victim asked a
neighbor to take her to where Hill was living. Upon arrival,
Victim went directly upstairs to Hill's room, woke him
up, and asked him if he wanted to go back to her house and
talk about getting back together. Hill agreed to go with
and Victim were leaving the house, they encountered Cannady
in the kitchen. Hill and Cannady yelled at each other, then
Hill and Victim went outside to the car. Once they were at
the car, Hill decided to stay the night with Victim, and they
went back in the house to retrieve Hill's clothes. Harris
woke up and Victim and Hill ended up having a beer and
talking to Harris for almost two hours. After approximately
45 minutes, they began smelling grease from the kitchen.
approximately 5:00 a.m., Victim and Hill decided to leave.
Victim began walking down the stairs. As Victim reached the
bottom third or fourth stair, Cannady threw a pot of hot
grease in Victim's face. Victim started screaming and
fell down the rest of the stairs. Cannady then began to beat
Victim in the back of the head with the pot while calling her
a "stupid bitch."
police were being called, Cannady ran out the back door.
Responding officers found Cannady hiding underneath
mattresses in a detached garage behind the house, where she
was treated for burns to her face, neck, left ear, chest,
back, left arm, and the lower left side of her stomach.
Victim later underwent surgery on her left arm requiring skin
was charged by amended information with the class A felony of
assault in the first degree.
trial commenced on September 26, 2011. Victim testified
during the State's case in chief. In her testimony,
Victim identified Cannady as the person who threw the hot
grease on her. She indicated that she personally knew
Cannady, and Cannady and her children had lived with Victim
in 2006 and 2008. Victim stated she and Cannady did not have
a good relationship, but "tried to get along." She
testified she did not see Cannady actually throw the grease
in her face as it was dark at the bottom of the stairs.
Victim said that after she was hit with the grease, she fell
down the remaining stairs and Cannady started beating her in
the back of her head with a pot saying, "You stupid
bitch." She indicated that she recognized Cannady's
voice. Victim's testimony was that Hill then came down
the stairs and said, "Jill, what the fuck did you
do?" Hill grabbed Cannady off Victim and when Victim
stood up, she saw Cannady.
testified that a short time after Hill and Victim left his
bedroom, he heard Victim yell "That B burnt me."
Harris saw Cannady coming up the stairs with splatter marks
on her shirt. Cannady told him, "I go that B, I got that
Chad McIntrye ("McIntrye"), with the Springfield
Police Department, testified he was a major crimes
investigator. He responded to a call at 5:20 a.m. at
Hill's residence. He met
coming out the door. Officer McIntrye testified that as he
approached the house, he smelled an odor like burnt grease.
The following colloquy then took place:
[STATE:] Once you approached the house, what did you do?
[MCINTRYE:] Mr. Hill was coming outside. I asked him a few
questions, if he lived there. He said he did. He said the
mother of his child was burned. I asked where it happened at.
He said inside.
[DEFENSE:] Objection. Hearsay.
[STATE:] I would just use this for subsequent conduct, for
getting a consent to search and going into the house.
[COURT:] Okay. Have you finished that line of questioning,
then, at this point?
[STATE:] I just need to ask a few follow-up questions about
how he ended up in the house.
[COURT:] None of it's for the truth of it; is that what
you're telling me?
[COURT:] Objection's overruled.
[STATE:] So you spoke with Mr. Hill about the reason you were
[STATE:] And after he gave you some information, did he
subsequently give you consent to search that house?
[STATE:] And did he do so by a signed form or just verbally?
[STATE:] Okay. What happened when you went into that house?
[MCINTRYE:] The smell of the grease was stronger, and I just
basically did a walk-through. Mr. Hill took me -- he told me
what had happened. He took me to a stairway and said this is
where it happened at, then he took me to a couple other
places inside the house.
. . . .
[STATE:] Okay. How did you conduct your investigation, then,
as you proceeded through this house?
[MCINTRYE:] At first I just did a walk-through with Mr. Hill,
and then I went and got my camera and I just started taking
pictures of the interior of the house and the evidence that I
found, or thought was evidence.
[STATE:] Okay. What were you looking for as far as items of
evidence? You had heard that this was a burn case. Were you
looking for specific items that you would believe would be
associated with that case?
[MCINTRYE:] Mr. Hill had said that somebody threw grease on
her; so, obviously, I was looking for an area that had a
large amount of grease or any grease at all, clothes, a