Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis Honorable
Paula Perkins Bryant
S. ODENWALD, PRESIDING JUDGE
Wallace ("Wallace") appeals from the motion
court's denial of his Rule 29.15motion seeking
post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. The
trial court convicted Wallace on five counts finding that
Wallace broke into a woman's car, drove away with the
woman, attempted to have the woman perform oral sex
on him, injured the woman, and left the woman naked
and semi-conscious. We affirmed Wallace's competence to
stand trial in a previous appeal. Wallace now presents three
points on appeal alleging the motion court erred in denying
his Rule 29.15 motion because both trial and appellate
counsels were ineffective. Specifically, Wallace contends
that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to raise
mitigating evidence at his sentencing. Wallace asserts that
appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise
sufficiency-of-the-evidence claims for robbery in the second
degree and attempted forcible rape. Because the trial court
was fully Informed of Wallace's mental challenges at
sentencing, and because the record contains substantial
evidence supporting the required elements of robbery in the
second degree and attempted forcible rape, we affirm the
motion court's judgment.
and Procedural History
approached a car parked outside a bar with the engine
running. A woman ("Victim") who had been drinking
inside the bar earlier was sleeping in the car. A security
video showed Wallace trying to open the car door and knocking
on the window. Wallace walked away and came back with a large
object, which he used to break the driver's side window.
Wallace entered the car and drove away while Victim was
inside the car.
woke to the sound of the car window breaking. Victim asked
Wallace to let her out of the car and offered him money.
Wallace punched Victim in the face several times and told her
to "shut up." Wallace then took out his genitals
and tried to force Victim's head toward his groin.
Wallace told Victim to suck his penis. Victim resisted. To
escape, Victim jumped from the moving car and ran up some
stairs toward what she thought was a church. Wallace
followed, grabbed Victim, and forced her back into the car.
Wallace got back in the car and began to drive.
Wallace was driving. Victim grabbed the steering wheel
causing it to collide with a parked vehicle. Victim ran from
the car, but Wallace caught up to her in an alley. Victim
could not recall anything after Wallace caught up with her
again. A man who lived nearby heard Victim scream and saw
Wallace pulling on Victim's clothes. The man called the
arrived and found Victim naked and semi-conscious in the
alley. Victim suffered a fractured nose, fractured eye
sockets, bleeding on the brain, a blood clot, and numerous
scrapes and bruises. Hospital staff performed a rape kit,
which was negative for seminal fluid.
found Victim's car less than one block away from where
they found Victim. From inside and around the car, police
seized a yellow skull cap, a purse with blood on it, a black
jacket a black shoe, and the deployed air bags. A DNA analyst
identified the DNA of three individuals on the cap, with
Wallace as the major contributor. The DNA analyst also
matched Wallace's DNA to DNA recovered from the
driver's side airbag of Victim's car. Victim viewed a
photographic lineup and identified Wallace's photograph.
State charged Wallace with one count each of assault in the
first degree, robbery in the first degree, attempted forcible
rape, attempted forcible sodomy, and kidnapping. The case
commenced to trial.
trial, Wallace's trial counsel moved to declare Wallace
incompetent to stand trial. Trial counsel offered the report
of Dr. Rachael Springman ("Dr. Springman") to
support a finding of incompetency. The circuit court ordered
an evaluation by Dr. Tracey Fintel ("Dr. Fintel"),
a forensic examiner with the Missouri Department of Mental
Health. The circuit court then held a competency hearing. At
the competency hearing, both doctors testified that they had
reviewed Wallace's special school district records, his
health and criminal records, as well as the police reports in
the present case. Both doctors evaluated Wallace in person,
and both concluded that Wallace had mild mental retardation
and antisocial personality disorder. Additionally, Dr.
Springman found that Wallace's IQ is 59.
Springman administered three objective tests, including the
Competence Assessment for Standing Trial for Defendants with
Mental Retardation (the "CAST-MR"). The first part
of the CAST-MR, called understanding case events, evaluated
whether Wallace could recount the details of his arrest in a
clear and coherent manner. Wallace answered ninety-five
percent of the questions correctly, which is consistent with
a person who is mentally competent. The second part of the
test, the skills to assist the defense, addressed the
functions of an attorney. Wallace scored sixty percent, which
falls between competency and incompetency. On the third part
of the test, basic legal concepts, Wallace scored sixty-four
percent, which also falls between competency and
on the objective tests and her interview with Wallace, Dr.
Springman opined that Wallace was not competent to stand
trial at the time of the evaluation. Dr. Springman found that
Wallace had difficulty understanding several things: the
concepts of maximum and minimum sentences, the role of
courtroom personnel, the relation of the paperwork containing
his charges to the reality of the charges, the weight of DNA
evidence and its effect on options for approaching his
defense, the meaning of the word "attempted" in
some of the charged crimes, and some of the statements police
officers made during Wallace's interrogation. Dr.
Springman did not believe Wallace had the ability to
understand court proceedings. However, Dr. Springman believed
Wallace could be restored to competency with training and
Fintel conducted a forensic interview of Wallace, but she did
not administer any objective-competency tests. Dr. Fintel
evaluated Wallace's memory for recent events, attention,
and concentration; she found no deficits. When discussing
Wallace's criminal charges with him, Dr. Fintel believed
Wallace understood and appreciated the seriousness of the
charges against him. Dr. Fintel had reviewed Dr.
Springman's report. Dr. Fintel testified that
Wallace's understanding of the roles of court personnel
seemed improved from the time Wallace saw Dr. Springman.
Wallace understood legal concepts even if he did not know the
precise terms for them. Dr. Fintel observed that Wallace was
dissatisfied with trial counsel and he did not trust trial
counsel, but Wallace understood he needed to tell trial
counsel everything truthfully in order to be represented
adequately. Dr. Fintel believed Wallace's lack of trust
in trial counsel stemmed from Wallace's antisocial
personality disorder. Wallace also understood the role of
witnesses, that he had the option of testifying or not
testifying, and the role of the jury. Dr. Fintel concluded
that Wallace did not lack mental fitness to proceed.
circuit court considered the testimony of Drs. Springman and
Fintel, as well as both of their reports, and concluded
Wallace was competent to stand trial. The circuit court then
placed Wallace's case on the trial docket. Wallace waived
his right to a jury trial. After a bench trial, the trial
court found Wallace guilty of one count of assault in the
first degree, one count of robbery in the second ...