Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY Honorable Calvin R.
E. SCOTT, J.
found Kearstain Sleeth guilty of burglary and felony murder.
Sufficiency of the evidence is not in dispute.
was mad at the victim and told three male friends a story to
make them mad too. She gave one young man a handgun, drove
the others to get guns of their own, then drove them all to
the victim's home and pointed out his bedroom. She waited
as the young men went to the front door, kicked it in, forced
entry into the victim's room, shot him to death, and
returned to the car. Sleeth drove everyone to a remote area
to dispose of the murder weapons. Sleeth later gave police a
video-recorded interview, after which she was charged and
ultimately convicted as stated above.
appeal, Sleeth's three points challenge evidentiary
rulings regarding her interview. We review such claims for
abuse of discretion. State v. Blurton, 484 S.W.3d
758, 769 (Mo. banc 2016). A trial court abuses its broad
discretion to admit or exclude evidence only if its ruling is
so clearly illogical, unreasonable, arbitrary, and
ill-considered that it shocks the sense of justice. See
id. None of Sleeth's points make this showing, so we
affirm and remand to correct an error in the written
moved to suppress her interview on two grounds relevant to
1. that "cognitive deficiencies due to not being allowed
to take her medication … clearly establish an
inability on her part to either understand questions made to
her or to be able to verbalize reliable responses," and
2. at one point, she "was told by one of the
interrogators that it was a crime for her not to tell him
motion hearing at which Sleeth and her mother testified, the
state agreed to suppression of everything from and after
Sleeth was told it was a crime not to inform. The court took
the rest under advisement, viewed the video twice, found
Sleeth "was coherent and mentally stable throughout the
interview," and overruled the motion "up to the
point when [Sleeth] was told it was a crime not to talk to
the police." After editing to remove the suppressed
portion, the video was admitted at trial and shown to the
charges error in not suppressing the whole interview,
alleging that Sleeth's cognitive functioning was so
impaired by a lack of medication that her statements were
involuntary, unreliable, and should not have been admitted.
relevant here, we review a suppression ruling only for
whether substantial evidence supports it, viewing all facts
and reasonable inferences most favorably to the ruling.
State v. Little, 473 S.W.3d 662, 666 (Mo.App. 2015).
We disregard contrary evidence and inferences. State v.
Selvy, 462 S.W.3d 756, 764 (Mo.App. 2015). Unless the
trial court indicates otherwise, we presume it found all
facts and made all credibility determinations consistent with
its ruling (Little, 473 S.W.3d at 666-67), and
"deem that the trial court implicitly found not
credible, or entitled to little to no weight, any testimony
or other evidence that does not support its ruling."
Selvy, 462 S.W.3d at 764. At bottom, "the
weight of the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses
are for the trial court's determination."
Id. "If the trial court's ruling is
plausible, in light of the record viewed in its entirety, we
will not reverse." Id.
principles doom Point 1, which leans heavily on hearing
testimony by Sleeth and her mother that we must disregard as
contrary to the court's ruling. Little, 473
S.W.3d at 666-67; Selvy, 462 S.W.3d at 764. Although
Sleeth also cites the interview video, it offers substantial
evidence supporting the trial-court finding that Sleeth
"was coherent and mentally stable."
effectively end our inquiry. Little, 473 S.W.3d at
666-67. The trial court's ruling is plausible, given the
record viewed in its entirety, so we will not reverse.
Selvy, 462 S.W.3d at 764. We need not address ...