State v. Hastings, ED 100435

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtLisa S. Van Amburg
Citation450 S.W.3d 479
PartiesState of Missouri, Plaintiff/Respondent, v. Daniel J. Hastings, Defendant/Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. ED 100435,ED 100435
Decision Date25 November 2014

450 S.W.3d 479

State of Missouri, Plaintiff/Respondent,
Daniel J. Hastings, Defendant/Appellant.

No. ED 100435

In the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District DIVISION FIVE

Filed: November 25, 2014

Reversed and remanded for new trial.

[450 S.W.3d 482]

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lincoln County, Honorable Chris K. Mennemeyer

[450 S.W.3d 483]

Lee R. Elliott, 151 West College Street, P.O. Box 225, Troy, Missouri 63379, for Appellant.

Gabriel E. Harris, P.O. Box 899, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102, for Respondent.

Lisa S. Van Amburg, Judge

Defendant Daniel Hastings was convicted by jury in the Circuit Court of Lincoln County of one count of Burglary in the First Degree, section 569.160, R.S.Mo. (2000), one count of Tampering with a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree, section 569.080, R.S.Mo. (Cum.Supp.2007), two counts of Stealing, section 570.030, R.S.Mo. (Cum.Supp.2007), and one count of Identity Theft, section 570.223, R.S.Mo. (Cum.Supp.2007). On appeal, Hastings argues that the trial court erred by: (1) failing to suppress evidence of his possession of identification documents belonging to victim K.R, because police obtained this evidence after a warrantless entry of his home that violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution; (2) permitting the State to refresh a witness's memory with a deposition taken in a previous case, because the deposition was taken outside the Hastings's presence; (3) failing to provide the jury with an “acting in concert” instruction, because “acting in concert” was an element of the crimes with which he was charged; and (4) demonstrating an overt bias against him. Hastings also contends that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for (1) burglarizing J.R.'s home, (2) stealing prescription sunglasses and $300 in cash from J.R.'s purse, (3) stealing J.R.'s identification documents, and (4) tampering with victim S.W.'s motor vehicle. We reverse the trial court's judgment, and remand for a new trial.


As our ruling on Hastings's first point regarding warrantless entry by police into his home is dispositive of this appeal, we recount the facts of this case primarily as they relate to that point. On May 30, 2011, Illinois State Trooper Paul Moak received an anonymous tip that someone by the name of either Daniel or Dennis was attempting to sell a 2010 Hyundai Elantra for $2000. The tipster believed the car may have been stolen, and stated that it was located near a specific address in West Frankfort, Illinois.

Trooper Moak drove by the address four or five times before eventually finding the car parked in the driveway of a house across the street from the address provided by the tipster. He checked the license plate number, which revealed that the car had been stolen in Troy, Missouri. Trooper Moak called for backup, and West Frankfort municipal police officers Stacey Eaton and Shawn Tallutto arrived at the scene.

Without waiting to obtain a warrant, Trooper Moak and Officer Eaton approached the door of the house, while Officer Tallutto stayed in the driveway with the car. Officer Eaton knocked on the door of the residence and Hastings's girlfriend, Tina Spani, answered. The officers asked Spani if they could speak to “a male subject at the residence” regarding the vehicle that was parked in the driveway. While the officers were speaking with Spani on the front porch, a man, later identified as Hastings, walked from the interior of the home toward the front door, saw the police officers, and then “briskly” turned around and walked back to the interior of the residence. About the ensuing events, Trooper Moak testified at the suppression hearing as follows:

Q. And what did you do then?

[450 S.W.3d 484]

A. Officer Eaton entered the residence and detained Mr. Hastings, led him back toward the front door of the residence, that way we could speak with him regarding the vehicle in the driveway.

Q. Where did that detention occur?

A. I don't know because when she entered the residence she stepped around the corner and I could not see them from where I was standing. It was just inside the front door and there's an entryway and ... [the room opens up] to the left and they stepped around that corner.

Q. So you didn't enter the house, is that correct?

A. I remained at the front door with Ms. Spani. Officer Eaton actually entered the house at that point.

Q. At any point during—did you enter the house?

A. I did. Yes.

Q. At what point did you enter the house?

A. Whenever Officer Eaton escorted him back toward the front door area, there's like a small foyer, walkway area at the front door.

Q. Did you go any further in the house than the front foyer?

A. I did not. No.

Thereafter, Trooper Moak asked Hastings for identification, and Hastings produced a wallet from his pocket. When Hastings opened the wallet, Trooper Moak observed that it contained identification documents belonging to a woman, J.R., who he knew had been the victim of a burglary in Troy, Missouri. Trooper Moak then arrested Hastings for possession of stolen identity documents, and the stolen car in the driveway was towed away for processing.

The State charged Hastings with identity theft, property damage, tampering with a motor vehicle, two counts of burglary, and four counts of stealing. These charges related both to the burglary of victim J.R.'s house, from which the identity documents, prescription sunglasses, and $300 in cash were taken, and to the theft of the car, which was stolen during a burglary of victim S.R.'s house across the street. The jury convicted Hastings of identity theft, tampering with a motor vehicle, one count of burglary, and two counts of stealing. This appeal follows.


“At a hearing on a motion to suppress, ‘the state bears both the burden of producing evidence and the risk of non-persuasion to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the motion to suppress should be overruled.’ ” State v. Grayson, 336 S.W.3d 138, 142 (Mo. banc 2011) (quoting State v. Franklin, 841 S.W.2d 639, 644 (Mo. banc 1992)). “[T]his Court considers the evidence presented at both the suppression hearing and at trial to determine whether sufficient evidence exists in the record to support the trial court's ruling,” id. (quoting State v. Pike, 162 S.W.3d 464, 472 (Mo. banc 2005)), and “reverse[s] only if clearly erroneous,” id. (quoting State v. Goff, 129 S.W.3d 857, 862 (Mo. banc 2004)). “This Court defers to the trial court's factual findings and credibility determinations, and considers all evidence and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the trial court's ruling.” State v. Sund, 215 S.W.3d 719, 723 (Mo. banc 2007) (citation omitted). “When, as here, there is little or no dispute about the facts, the question of whether the Fourth Amendment [to the United States Constitution] has been violated is a question of law ... [that is] reviewed de novo.”

[450 S.W.3d 485]

State v. Simmons, 158 S.W.3d 901, 907 (Mo.App.W.D.2005).


Hastings's first point is dispositive. He argues that the trial court erred by failing to suppress evidence of his possession of identification documents belonging to victim J.R., because police obtained the evidence after entering his home without a warrant in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He asserts that his encounter with police was involuntary, that police had no probable cause to seize him, and that no exigent circumstances justified the police's warrantless entry. In response, the State contends that police had probable cause to seize Hastings, because: (1) they were there to investigate a stolen car parked in the driveway; (2) an anonymous informant had stated a man going by the name of “Daniel or Dennis” had tried to sell the stolen car; and (3) the officers saw Hastings “briskly” walk away from the front door. The State also contends that exigent circumstances justified the warrantless entry, because Hastings could have fled through the rear of the home or destroyed evidence of victim J.R.'s identification documents.

“The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, ‘guarantees citizens the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.’ ” State v. Cook, 273 S.W.3d 562, 569 (Mo.App.E.D.2008) (quoting State v. Burnett, 230 S.W.3d 15, 18 (Mo.App.W.D.2007)). “Missouri's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, contained in Article I, Section 15 of the Missouri Constitution, is ‘coextensive with the protection provided by the Fourth Amendment.’ ” Id. (quoting State v. Cromer, 186 S.W.3d 333, 343 (Mo.App.W.D.)). “The analysis under both the U.S. Constitution and the Missouri Constitution is identical.” Id. (quoting Burnett, 230 S.W.3d at 18).

“ ‘[P]hysical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed,’ and that it is ‘a basic principle of Fourth Amendment law that searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable.’ ” Id. (quoting Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 585–86, 100 S.Ct. 1371, 63 L.Ed.2d 639 (1980)); see also Payton, 445 U.S. at 588–89, 100 S.Ct. 1371 (“[Violating] the sanctity of the home .... is simply too substantial an invasion to allow without a warrant, at least in the absence of exigent circumstances, even when ... probable cause is clearly present.” (quoting United States v. Reed, 572 F.2d 412, 423 (2d Cir.1978))). Nevertheless, “the State may overcome this presumption [of unreasonableness] by demonstrating that a warrantless search or seizure falls within one of a carefully defined set of exceptions based on the presence of ‘exigent circumstances.’ ” Cook, 273 S.W.3d at 570 (citing Payton, 445 U.S. at 587 n.25, 100 S.Ct. 1371). “Exigent circumstances exist in cases of emergency, such as when a ‘delay would endanger life, allow a suspect to...

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