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State v. Remster

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

February 19, 2019

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Respondent,
v.
SCOTT A. REMSTER, Defendant-Appellant.

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

          DON E. BURRELL, P.J.

         AFFIRMED

         Scott A. Remster ("Defendant") appeals his convictions for assault in the first degree, see section 565.050, assault in the fourth degree, see section 565.056, and armed criminal action, see section 571.015.[1] In three points on appeal, Defendant claims the trial court erred in limiting his voir dire to one hour and excluding evidence of a victim's ("Victim") plea deal and bond conditions in a criminal case the State had brought against Victim. Finding no merit in these claims, we affirm.

         Evidence

         "We here recite the evidence as viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict and give the State the benefit of all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence." State v. Bookwalter, 326 S.W.3d 530, 531 (Mo. App. S.D. 2010). Defendant was charged in Greene County as a persistent felony offender with two counts of the class B felony of assault in the first degree, and two counts of armed criminal action. The charges stemmed from actions that occurred on May 1, 2017, at Ron's Last Call ("Ron's"), a Springfield bar owned by Ron Dean ("Mr. Dean"). In addition to Defendant, Victim, and Mr. Dean, others present at Ron's that day included Joanna Jacob, Jeannine Estes and Chris Lowe.

         The incident started with Defendant and Victim verbally arguing about Defendant's attitude, culminating with Victim telling Defendant, "[R]ight there is the door. . . . You can hit it[.]" When Defendant got off his bar stool, Mr. Dean went and stood between the two in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. Mr. Dean asked Victim to remain seated and asked Defendant to "sit back down and '[l]et's just cool off and everybody, you know, have a good time,' and [Defendant] wasn't having any of it."

         When Defendant gave Victim what "was more or less an invitation to prove his manhood[, ]" a comment Mr. Dean took to mean "an invitation to a physical altercation[, ]" Defendant continued trying to get Victim to fight him, and Mr. Dean asked Defendant to leave. As Defendant was leaving, he continued his attempts to get Victim to come outside and fight him. Mr. Dean followed Defendant outside and Defendant

kept mouthing and asking [Victim] to come out, and I told [Defendant], "Get the hell off my property. It's time for you to go." And he pulled a knife, and pardon my language, but he said, "I'll fuck you up, buttercup," and swung at me a couple of times. I retreated and pushed the barstool towards him, and he kept coming on back into the building.

         At that point, Victim intervened to protect Mr. Dean, and Defendant slashed at Victim with the knife, inflicting multiple wounds.

         The jury found Defendant guilty of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action for his attack on Victim. It also found Defendant guilty of assault in the fourth degree for "stabbing at" Mr. Dean but not guilty of armed criminal action as to Mr. Dean. We will recite additional evidence as necessary to address Defendant's points.

         Analysis

         Point 1 - Time Limit on Voir Dire

         In his first point on appeal, Defendant claims the trial court erred in limiting his voir dire to one hour because the nature and severity of the charges required more time in which to inquire of the panel, and the limitation prejudiced Defendant by preventing him from questioning the potential ...


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