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State v. Giles

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division

September 24, 2019

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
QUINCY D. GILES, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri The Honorable Jalilah Otto, Judge

          Before Karen King Mitchell, Chief Judge, Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge, and W. Ann Hansbrough, Special Judge

          Karen King Mitchell, Chief Judge

         Quincy Giles appeals, following a jury trial, his convictions of two counts of first-degree robbery, § 570.023, [1] and two counts of armed criminal action, § 571.015, for which he was sentenced, as a persistent offender, to concurrent terms of eighteen years' imprisonment on each count. Giles raises two claims on appeal. First, he argues that the trial court erred in failing to grant him allocution before pronouncing sentence. Second, he argues that the trial court erred in finding no probable cause to believe that Giles received ineffective assistance from trial counsel, following the trial court's inquiry under Rule 29.07(b)(4).[2] Because there is merit to Giles's first point, we vacate his sentence and remand with directions that the trial court grant Giles his right to allocution and then resentence him. In light of the disposition of Point I, we need not consider Point II.

         Background

         Around 4:27 in the morning of June 14, 2017, the Cenex gas station at 71st Street and Troost in Jackson County was robbed by a man wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants and brandishing a handgun. Approximately thirty minutes later, around 5:00 a.m., a 7-11 gas station on Blue Ridge Road-seven-to-eight miles from the Cenex station-was robbed by the same man wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants and brandishing a handgun. Both robberies were captured on surveillance video, and both depicted the assailant carrying a blue bag and getting into the same vehicle to leave the scene. The man was subsequently identified as Quincy Giles, who happened to reside between three-and-a-half and four miles from both of the gas stations.

         The State charged Giles with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action. Following trial, the jury found Giles guilty as charged. For reasons that are unclear in the record, Giles did not file a motion for new trial.[3] After hearing argument from both the State and Giles's counsel, the trial court pronounced sentence of eighteen years' imprisonment on each count, with all terms to run concurrently. At no point did the trial court ask Giles if he had any legal cause to show why judgment should not be pronounced against him.

         The trial court then questioned Giles regarding the assistance of counsel. Giles voiced several complaints. Trial counsel questioned Giles directly and elicited facts conflicting with some of Giles's complaints. The trial court stated:

Okay. Fair enough. And just so we're clear, I mean, this is not the post-conviction hearing today. I just needed to make a determination whether or not there's probable cause that exists as to whether or not there was effective assistance of counsel, and it sounds to me like there are some factual discrepancies as to the number of visits, what happened in those visits, and the nature of those conversations are-were at that time.
I will make a finding with regard to ineffective assistance of counsel. There may or there may not be, that will merit itself out in due time. You will have your position, Mr. Giles, with regard to that. You will have your position as well, [Trial Counsel].

         In the written sentence and judgment, the trial court found "no probable cause to believe that Defendant has been ineffectively assisted by counsel." Nonetheless, the trial court determined that, "pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 29.07, counsel is hereby ordered to file (1) a Notice of Appeal and (2) a Motion for Defendant to Proceed in Forma Pauperis within 5 days of the date of this judgment." (Emphasis in original.) Giles appeals.

         Analysis

         Giles raises two claims on appeal. In his first point, he argues that the trial court erred in failing to grant him allocution pursuant to § 546.570 and Rule 29.07(b)(1). In his second point, he argues that the trial court erred, following its Rule 29.07(b)(4) inquiry, in determining that there was no probable cause to believe Giles received ineffective assistance from counsel.

         A. The trial court erred in failing to ...


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