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Hicks v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

June 26, 2018

RAMONE J. HICKS, Movant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Respondent.

          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY Honorable David C. Jones

          DON E. BURRELL, J. - OPINION AUTHOR

         Ramone J. Hicks ("Movant") timely -- but ineffectually -- attempts to appeal the denial of his amended Rule 29.15 motion for post-conviction relief to set aside his 2013 convictions for first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and armed criminal action ("the amended motion").[1] The motion court denied the amended motion after conducting an evidentiary hearing.[2] Movant's three points claim the motion court failed to make specific findings necessary "to enable meaningful appellate review of [Movant's] claims[, ]" denied Movant's Brady[3] violation claim using "an incorrect legal standard[, ]" and mistakenly relied upon an exhibit that "was substantially more prejudicial than probative" in ruling on Movant's Brady claim.

         Unfortunately, we are unable to reach the substance (if any) of Movant's points and must instead dismiss the appeal because the motion court's order denying post-conviction relief ("judgment") failed to rule on all of the claims presented in the amended motion. Green v. State, 494 S.W.3d 525, 533 (Mo. banc 2016) (holding that an appeal from a judgment that fails to dispose of all claims raised in the post-conviction motion must be dismissed for lack of a final judgment), superseded by rule on another ground as stated in Creighton v. State, 520 S.W.3d 416, 422 n.8 (Mo. banc 2017).

         Procedural History

         The amended motion asserted eight claims:

(a) the State failed to disclose Brady material regarding the vehicle "that was seized on the night of the robbery" ("the vehicle") and this prejudiced Movant because he "could have used this evidence to further develop his theory of innocence or develop a new defense" ("Brady claim");
(b) the State committed prosecutorial misconduct by "portray[ing to the jury] that the vehicle . . . belonged to [M]ovant when in fact [the prosecutor] knew that it belonged to" someone else in order to discredit the testimony of Movant's sister ("misconduct claim");
(c) "trial counsel failed to conduct adequate investigation into the vehicle" ("investigation claim");
(d) "trial counsel failed to depose both witnesses and victims" about the vehicle and a "bandana admitted into evidence at trial" ("deposition claim");
(e) "trial counsel failed to adequately argue the need for a continuance" of the trial to pursue investigation and depositions ("continuance claim");
(f) "the State released evidence [the vehicle] prior to trial that was subsequently destroyed" ("destruction claim");
(g) "trial counsel failed to file a motion for mistrial after being presented with a venire panel that contained no African-Americans" ("venire claim"); and
(h) "the errors set out in the preceding paragraphs [asserting claims (a) through (g)] taken as a whole warrant a new trial because they rendered [M]ovant's trial fundamentally unfair" ...

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