State v. Ogle, 11790

Decision Date29 December 1981
Docket NumberNo. 11790,11790
Citation627 S.W.2d 73
PartiesSTATE of Missouri, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Cecil George OGLE, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Robert R. Parrish, Joplin, for defendant-appellant.

John Ashcroft, Atty. Gen., Kristie Green, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, for plaintiff-respondent.


A jury found the defendant guilty of the class B felony of rape by forcible compulsion. § 566.030.1(1) RSMo, 1978. The trial court found he was a persistent offender and sentenced him to imprisonment for 20 years. By his motion for a new trial and by his brief filed with this court, the defendant contends he is entitled to a new trial for the reason the trial court failed to give a mandatory MAI-CR2d instruction defining "serious physical injury".

The verdict directing instruction was MAI-CR2d 20.02.1. This instruction told the jury to find the defendant guilty if he was not married to the prosecutrix and had sexual intercourse with her without her consent "by the use of forcible compulsion". Note on Use 3 to MAI-CR2d 20.02.1 in part provides: "A separate instruction must be given defining the following terms, if used in any of the instructions, whether the definition is requested or not: 'forcible compulsion', 'serious physical injury'. These terms are defined in MAI-CR2d 33.00-Definitions". (Emphasis Added).

The trial court did give an instruction defining forcible compulsion as: "(a) Physical force that overcomes reasonable resistance, or (b) A threat, expressed or implied, that places a person in reasonable fear of death, serious physical injury or kidnapping of himself or another person." (Emphasis Added). Contrary to the Note on Use referred to above, the trial court did not give an instruction defining "serious physical injury". This failure was "error, its prejudicial effect to be judicially determined". Crim.Rule 28.02(e). This determination requires a brief resume of the evidence.

On the January night in question the defendant and two friends escorted one Bonnow to a house where the prosecutrix lived with her year-old child. She was separated from her husband, although she was talking with him on the telephone at the time they arrived. The defendant and his companions were searching for some stolen stereos and apparently Bonnow had indicated the prosecutrix had some knowledge of their whereabouts. Bonnow had been roughed up. The prosecutrix denied such knowledge. When Bonnow got on the phone to discuss the stereos with the prosecutrix's husband, the defendant was further angered with Bonnow and kicked him. Bonnow escaped by jumping out a window. The other three men chased him without success. When they later returned to the house the prosecutrix rode with them to the police station to file a complaint against Bonnow for breaking the window. She testified the complaint she intended to file would have been false. The police station in the small community was closed. The prosecutrix was taken home and the three men departed. The prosecutrix had left her son with her friend Miller. Miller was the brother of the prosecutrix's next door neighbor who was informed of the event and came to see if everything was all right. While Miller was there, a police officer came to the house and asked the prosecutrix if she had seen Ogle kick Bonnow. She falsely stated she had not. Later she and Miller drove to the home of a 19-year-old young man who had been "seeing" the prosecutrix for three months. They picked up this young man and his friend. They dropped off the friend and drove by a manufacturing plant where the prosecutrix worked and picked up some plywood to place over the window. After they returned to the prosecutrix's house, Miller soon left. The young man testified he had "boarded up the outside window" with quarter-inch plywood. The prosecutrix did not remember whether or not the window had been boarded up.

According to the prosecutrix, about this time the defendant returned. When she opened the door to him, he forced his way into the house. After putting his arms around her, he pushed her into the bedroom where he ordered her to disrobe. She did so only after he had hit her three times with an open hand and had drawn back his fist. She submitted because she was afraid. After intercourse, when the defendant was removing his shirt, the prosecutrix escaped by jumping through the same window through which Bonnow had made his exit. She ran through the snow to her neighbor's house and the police were called. The young man testified that when the defendant arrived he went into the kitchen, but from there saw the defendant push the prosecutrix into the bedroom and hit her. The young man said he left by the back door because he was not prepared to fight the defendant. While fleeing, the young man heard the cries of the prosecutrix, but he did not seek aid. The prosecutrix said the second blow split her upper lip. She had bruises on the inside of her thighs but she did not know if these were the result of actions by the defendant or from escaping. She had cuts and abrasions from escaping. A medical examination that night did not show the presence of sperm or a level of acid phosphate sufficient to establish recent sexual intercourse although such tests were not conclusive.

The defendant testified that on the trip from the police station the prosecutrix invited him back. When he returned, after a brief conversation, she led him into the bedroom where she willingly disrobed. As he was doing the same, a noise was heard on the adjoining front porch and the prosecutrix panicked, jumped out the window and ran next door to falsely accuse him of rape. The defendant emphasizes the improbability that he attacked the prosecutrix in the presence of the young man who had recently lettered in football and weighed 190 pounds. He asserts it is incredible that the young man fled and made no report of an assault. The defendant also points out inconsistent and impeaching statements made by the young man. He further emphasizes the prosecutrix's willingness to file a false report against Bonnow and the fact she lied to the police who came to her house between the first and second visit by the defendant.

With this background, it is to be determined if the error of the trial court must be deemed prejudicial. In making the determination, this court must adhere to established principles and follow the controlling decisions. Initially, it must be observed that this review is not limited to a determination of whether or not the omission of the trial court was "plain error" within the meaning of Crim.Rule 30.20. The defendant has properly preserved his claim of error. Compare State v. Sanders, 541 S.W.2d 530 (Mo. banc 1976) and State v. Grant, 560 S.W.2d 39 (Mo.App.1977).

The failure to define serious physical injury " 'must be deemed prejudicial unless the contrary clearly appears' ". State v. Lasley, 583 S.W.2d 511, 517 (Mo. banc 1979).

It is fundamental the instructions "must cover ' " 'all the essential elements of an offense embraced within the charge' " ' ". State v. Burgess, 457 S.W.2d 680, 682 (Mo. banc 1970). Also see State v. Mason, 571 S.W.2d 246 (Mo. banc 1978). It has been observed "(t)here is one principle of law relative to verdict directing instructions in criminal cases so basic and fundamental that its violation irrevocably precludes a finding of harmless error-a verdict directing instruction must require a finding of all the constituent facts necessary to constitute an offense in order to support a conviction." State v. Newhart, 503 S.W.2d 62, 69 (Mo.App.1973).

Whether or not the instructions tell the jury what it must find, or what constitutes the offense charged, is to be determined by the meaning of the language, or words, used in those instructions.

If such instructions employ words of "common usage", no definition or amplification of such terms is required. State v. Hammond, 571 S.W.2d 114 (Mo. banc 1978); State v. Abram, 537 S.W.2d 408 (Mo. banc 1976). However, it is firmly established " 'where technical or other terms are used, and their meaning may not be comprehended readily by unprofessional persons, and it appears, from the whole case made, that the jury may possibly...

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23 cases
  • State v. Westfall
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • May 28, 2002
    ...may have been adversely influenced by an erroneous instruction or by the lack of an instruction required by the statute." State v. Ogle, 627 S.W.2d 73, 77 (Mo.App.1981), quoting, State v. Aitkens, 352 Mo. 746, 179 S.W.2d 84, 94 (1944). The jury must be entitled to weigh all of the evidence ......
  • State v. Roden
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 15, 1984
    ...S.W.2d 11, 12 (Mo.App.1983); State v. Betts, supra, at 98. But see State v. Rodgers, 641 S.W.2d 83, 85 (Mo. banc 1982); State v. Ogle, 627 S.W.2d 73, 76 (Mo.App.1981). Roden's fourth claim of error is that the trial court prohibited cross-examination of Watkins concerning the amount of dama......
  • State v. Ogle
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • March 5, 1984
    ...was substantially the same as that of a prior trial for this charge which was reversed for instructional error. See State v. Ogle, 627 S.W.2d 73 (Mo.App.1981). Those facts are set out there and we see no point in reciting them again. There was evidence to support the charge. The testimony o......
  • State v. Chaney
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • November 8, 1983 defined, and, therefore, the failure to define this phrase is error. State v. Rodgers, 641 S.W.2d 83, 85 (Mo.1982); State v. Ogle, 627 S.W.2d 73, 74 (Mo.App.1981). 1 The prejudicial effect of this error, however, is judicially determined. State v. Rodgers, supra at 85; Rule Two cases rec......
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