Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Special Division
from the Circuit Court of Johnson County The Honorable Chad
N. Pfister, Judge
Before: Thomas H. Newton, P.J., and Alok Ahuja and Thomas N.
Rigsby was convicted of driving while intoxicated following a
bench trial in the Circuit Court of Johnson County. The court
found that Rigsby was a persistent offender based on his
prior convictions for driving-related offenses in 2005 and
2006 in Illinois. The court therefore entered a conviction
for a class D felony, and sentenced Rigsby accordingly.
Rigsby appeals. He argues that the circuit court erred in
finding him to be a persistent offender, because the offense
of which he was convicted in 2005 does not qualify as an
"intoxication-related traffic offense" under §
577.023.1(4). We agree. Rigsby's conviction and
sentence for driving while intoxicated are reversed, and the
case is remanded to the circuit court for entry of a
conviction of driving while intoxicated as a class B
misdemeanor, and resentencing accordingly.
March 10, 2016, just before 11:00 p.m., Officer Ryan Easley
of the Warrensburg Police Department observed a Ford F-150
truck drive past his vehicle without any headlights
Officer Easley then observed the truck roll through a stop
sign without coming to a complete stop. Officer Easley
conducted a traffic stop.
was driving the truck. When he approached the vehicle,
Officer Easley smelled the odor of alcohol and noticed that
Rigsby's eyes were bloodshot and glassed over. Rigsby was
nonresponsive and confused when Officer Easley asked for his
driver's license and proof of insurance. Once Officer
Easley secured Rigsby's Illinois driver's license, a
records check revealed that it had been revoked.
being read his Miranda rights, Rigsby stated that he had
consumed three "Millers" that evening. Officer
Easley requested that Rigsby step out of the truck. As Rigsby
exited, he stumbled and held on to the vehicle for balance.
After Rigsby failed multiple field sobriety tests, Officer
Easley placed him under arrest. Rigsby was transported to the
police station, where he refused to cooperate with a breath
State charged Rigsby with two counts: the class D felony of
driving while intoxicated as a persistent offender; and a
misdemeanor count of driving while his license was revoked.
waived his right to a jury trial. Before evidence was
presented, the circuit court conducted a hearing concerning
Rigsby's status as a persistent offender. At the hearing
the State presented two exhibits, which were admitted without
objection, concerning Rigsby's previous Illinois
convictions. Exhibit 1 addressed Rigsby's 2006 conviction
for driving under the influence of alcohol in St. Clair
County, Illinois. Exhibit 2 contained 80 pages of records
relating to Rigsby's 2005 conviction in Johnson County,
Illinois, for driving with marijuana in his breath, blood, or
addition to Exhibit 2, the State called Illinois State Police
Captain Greg Kilduff to testify regarding Rigsby's 2005
conviction. Captain Kilduff testified that on March 18, 2005,
at a little after 10:00 p.m., he observed a vehicle pull into
the parking lot of a gas station which was closed near
Goreville, Illinois. Captain Kilduff made contact with the
occupants of the vehicle because he thought "somebody
was going to try to break in or [the occupants] were up to
was the vehicle's driver; he was accompanied by a
passenger. Captain Kilduff testified that he "smelled a
strong odor of burnt cannabis" when he approached the
vehicle. He testified that Rigsby "had somewhat of a
sleepy appearance," "his eyes were glassy,"
and that his speech "was kind of slow and thick
tongued." Rigsby failed multiple field sobriety tests. A
preliminary breath test was negative for alcohol.
obtaining Rigsby's consent, Captain Kilduff searched the
vehicle and found a little over fourteen grams of cannabis
along with rolling papers. The vehicle's passenger stated
that the cannabis was his, and that "he had smoked
cannabis about two hours prior to the stop with Mr.
Rigsby." Rigsby was then arrested for driving with
cannabis in his system.
on the State's exhibits and Captain Kilduff's
testimony, the circuit court found beyond a reasonable doubt
that Rigsby was a persistent offender due to his two prior
circuit court then held a bench-trial and found Rigsby guilty
of both driving while intoxicated and driving while revoked.
The circuit court imposed a three-year sentence for the
driving while intoxicated conviction, but suspended the
execution of the sentence and placed Rigsby on probation for
five years. The court imposed a $250 fine for the driving
while revoked count.
appeals. On appeal, he challenges only his conviction and
sentence for driving while intoxicated.