Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY Honorable Michael J.
Cordonnier, Circuit Judge
STEFFEN RAHMEYER, J.
C. Newman ("Appellant") was convicted of
first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without
parole. He appeals claiming (1) that the trial court erred in
allowing the State to argue facts in closing argument that
were not admitted at trial and (2) that the trial court erred
in allowing hearsay statements into evidence. We reject both
claims and affirm the conviction.
many of the gruesome facts that led to this conviction and
subsequent appeal, as they are not necessary for this appeal,
and proceed to the first point. Appellant claims that the
State offered facts during closing argument that were not
admitted into evidence. In fact, what Appellant is really
arguing is that the State was allowed to make an inference
from facts that were admitted into evidence.
the State's closing argument, the prosecutor referred to
witness King Thomas:
It took a little while to get there, but yesterday we heard
from King Thomas. You heard lots of things and mentions about
him in the first couple days of it. Then he was here. See the
fear, maybe the guilt, the anguish that he had over this. He
saw a sense of duty to be here.
. . . .
King, I'm sure, wished he would have done something
sooner. Many of us -- I might wish he would have done
something sooner. But he was the only person with the
information. He testified, "I was scared; I had two
little girls; I know that they were out of state at the time
but they weren't always going to be out of state."
He feared [Appellant]. He feared what [Appellant] would do.
And he knew what [Appellant] had told him that [Appellant]
had done to [the victim]: I made it look like Freddy Krueger
prosecutor also referred to witness Alyssa Stewart during the
State's final closing argument:
Now, Alyssa Stewart didn't have that same direct contact
with [Appellant]. But, she testified that whenever [Victim]
was missing, an associate, Terry, who she'd had almost no
contact with, out of the blue started messaging her.
these two references that Appellant now complains were not
admitted into evidence. Appellant is mistaken. King Thomas
testified at trial to the following:
[Prosecutor:] King, just before we broke, I asked you why you
would be afraid. Can you tell me why you would be afraid to
[King Thomas:] Because [Appellant] told me that if I ever
said anything about this situation that we're here for
today, that he would hurt my kids, me, kill us.
Stewart also testified at trial. During redirect examination,
the prosecutor asked if she knew Terry ...