Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Zuidema

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division

July 3, 2018

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
ASHLEY NICOLE ZUIDEMA, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Nodaway County, Missouri The Honorable Roger M. Prokes, Judge.

          Before: Mark D. Pfeiffer, Presiding Judge, Karen King Mitchell, Chief Judge, and Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge.

          Mark D. Pfeiffer, Presiding Judge.

         Ms. Ashley Zuidema appeals from her judgment of conviction, following a trial by jury, by the Circuit Court of Nodaway County, Missouri ("trial court"), for one count of second-degree burglary. In her sole point on appeal, Zuidema argues the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury on the defense of justification by necessity. We affirm.

         Factual Background[1]

         On or about January 12, 2016, though not possessing a valid driver's license, Ms. Ashley Zuidema ("Zuidema") gave her friend a ride home to Stanberry, Missouri. She was going to spend the night at the friend's home, but the friend and her husband got in an argument, and Zuidema decided to leave and drive to her home in Savannah, Missouri. She had difficulty starting her car, but it eventually started. When she stopped for gas, the car again had trouble starting. Though she had spoken on her mobile phone to her mother about her car troubles, she decided not to request help from her mother and, instead, began the drive home. And, instead of taking heavily traveled roads on her route home, she decided to take the less-traveled "scenic route," as Zuidema did not want to risk being pulled over in light of the status of her driver's license. On the rural route, she lost her cellular phone signal and the car began "spitting, stuttering, wouldn't stay started[, ]" so she pulled into the driveway of a house where she saw a light on, because it was "freezing cold outside."

         Zuidema knocked on the door of the house, but nobody was home. Zuidema entered the house. She picked up the home phone and attempted to call the first number on the home phone, which said "Jennifer," and did not get an answer. Her cell phone got partial reception momentarily and she called her fiancé and communicated to him that her car was broken down, that she was safe at a house, but did not know where she was. She did not ask her fiancé to attempt to find her to pick her up.

         Zuidema plugged her mobile phone into the homeowners' cell phone charger and found some pajama bottoms in the house, so she put those on, "put [her] pants in the wash and decided to get cleaned up." She testified, "I was cold. So I made some warm tea, and was getting ready to get cleaned up." In that regard, Zuidema began drawing warm water in the bathtub.

         The home Zuidema had entered belonged to Martin and Jennifer Johnson. The Johnsons were away on vacation at the time and had their nephews taking care of their pets and chores for them while away. Their nephew, Connor Johnson, went to the house about 6:45 a.m., and saw a car he did not recognize in the driveway. As he backed out of the driveway, he saw "a head pop out of the door." Connor drove away from the house, up a hill, and called his mother and father, Maurissa and Darren Johnson, who lived about two miles from Martin and Jennifer Johnson's home. Maurissa dialed 911 and Darren and Maurissa arrived at Martin and Jennifer's driveway in about three minutes, where they encountered Zuidema. The police arrived shortly thereafter and took Zuidema into custody. The police also accompanied Maurissa Johnson in walking through the house, where Maurissa observed that:

she had some jeans and stuff laying on the floor in the kitchen, between the kitchen and bathroom. The couch in the living room was pulled out on one side away from the wall. She had a tea cup, a cup of tea, in the bathroom on the counter. There was a cup of tea on the main bar counter in the kitchen. There was-the computer desk was a rolltop desk. It was up. The computer was on. The chair was pulled out. In the bathroom she had her cell phone plugged in to the plug-in and sitting on the bathroom counter. Bathwater was drawn in the bathtub. . . . I found out later . . . that a bag was missing. . . . [A]nd then when Jennifer and [Martin] returned Jennifer found clothing in the washing machine and then found a winter coat hung up in the laundry room.

         Zuidema was charged with one count of second-degree burglary in violation of section 569.170 for knowingly entering an inhabitable structure for the purpose of committing stealing (Count 1), an alternative count of second-degree burglary in violation of section 569.170 for knowingly remaining unlawfully in an inhabitable structure for the purpose of committing stealing (Count 2), and one count of stealing in violation of section 570.030 for appropriating clothes, tea, electricity, water, and a canvas tote bag owned by the Johnson family without their consent and with the purpose to deprive them of the property (Count 3).[2]

         At the jury instruction conference following the close of all the evidence at trial, defense counsel submitted instructions related to the defense of justification by emergency or necessity under section 563.026. After argument on the proffered instructions and verdict directors, the trial court refused to give Zuidema's instructions and overruled defense counsel's objections to the verdict directors that did not include the defense of justification.

         Three counts were submitted to the jury, both burglary counts with the lesser included offense of first-degree trespassing as an alternative. Zuidema was acquitted of Count 1 and Count 3. Zuidema was found guilty of Count 2, second-degree burglary for knowingly remaining unlawfully in an inhabitable structure for the purpose of committing stealing. The trial court sentenced Zuidema to three years of imprisonment, suspended the execution of her sentence, and placed her on probation for five years.

         Following the verdict, Zuidema filed a motion for judgment of acquittal or for new trial, arguing that the trial court erred in refusing to give the instruction on the defense of justification by emergency or ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.