Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County Honorable John R.
M. HESS, JUDGE
(Appellant) appeals from the judgment of Circuit Court of St.
Louis County entering a full order of protection barring him
from being within 500 feet of T.R.P. (Respondent). Respondent
filed his petition for order of protection after receiving
harassing and threatening text messages and phone calls from
Appellant. Respondent was dating the mother of
Appellant's child at the time. On appeal, Appellant
argues: 1) the trial court erred when it admitted a text
message without proper foundation; and 2) there was
insufficient evidence to support the judgment because
Respondent failed to prove he was subjectively alarmed by
Appellant's conduct. For reasons explained herein, we
reverse and remand.
September 2017, Respondent filed a petition for an order of
protection against Appellant. A hearing was held on
Respondent's petition. The only two witnesses who testified
were Appellant and Respondent. The evidence, viewed in the
light most favorable to the verdict,  is as follows.
received text messages and phone calls from Appellant in
August and September 2017. In these text messages and phone
calls, Appellant threatened Respondent and his business. When
he received the messages, Respondent was dating the mother of
Appellant's child. Respondent received four text messages
he believed Appellant sent him. Three of the text messages
came from a phone number with a 618 area code, which
Appellant admitted was his. Those texts stated:
Text Message 1: You old and gray mother-[expletive], you
should be ashamed of yourself. Do you really think that
[Respondent's girlfriend] can introduce you to her family
and friends as her boyfriend. . . . [L]eave my baby mother
alone and go and find someone in your class because embarrass
[sic] going places with your old ugly ass. . . .
Text Message 2: I have your medicine so I'm going to see
how you not going to past [sic] on that herpes.
Text Message 3: If you want your business to survive, leave
my woman alone [Respondent]. I'm warning you! And I hope
you catch that herpes she got.
The fourth and final text message came from a phone number
with a 314 area code, which Appellant denied was his. The
fourth text message stated:
Text Message 4: I heard you still messing with that nasty ass
bitch [Respondent's girlfriend]. I want her baby daddy
and his friend them [sic] f[-]k you up.
testified he received phone calls from Appellant "all
the time." Respondent described the substance of the
phone calls as: "[Appellant] just tells me if I
don't stop messing with his baby mamma he's going to
'F me up. That's the same conversation every single
time he call." Respondent also testified Appellant would
contact him from different numbers. When questioned by the
trial court on how he knew that Appellant was the person
messaging and calling him, Respondent explained,
"[I]t's like I stated, he's using different
numbers to call all the time. He doesn't call from one
number. ... I mean, he's the one who is calling me and
texting me from those multiple numbers .... It's him on
the phone when he calls from those numbers saying the same
thing, like I said." Respondent testified Appellant
identified himself during some of the phone calls, and
repeatedly told him to stay away from his "baby
explained he filed the order of protection because,
"[As] the text messages start coming in they-I'm
looking at this and ...