State v. Rowland, SD24273

CourtMissouri Court of Appeals
PartiesState of Missouri, Respondent v. John Cecil Rowland, Appellant. SD24273 Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District 0
Decision Date21 February 2002
Docket NumberSD24273

State of Missouri, Respondent
John Cecil Rowland, Appellant.


Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District


Appeal From: Circuit Court of Greene County, Hon. Calvin R. Holden

Counsel for Appellant: Ellen H. Flottman

Counsel for Respondent: Audara L. Charlton

Opinion Summary: None

Shrum, P.J. and Montgomery, J., concur.

Robert S. Barney, Chief Judge

Following a bench trial in the Circuit Court of Greene County, John Cecil Rowland (Defendant) was convicted of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, section 195.211 RSMo. 2000. Defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of thirteen years. He appeals his conviction and sentence.

As more fully explained, infra, Defendant raises two points on appeal. Both points allege the trial court erred in overruling Defendant's motions to suppress evidence. "The State has the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that a motion to suppress should be denied." State v. Wells, 33 S.W.3d 202, 205 (Mo.App. 2000); State v. Franklin, 841 S.W.2d 639, 644 (Mo. banc 1992). "'In reviewing the trial court's denial of a motion to suppress, we do not substitute our discretion for that of the trial court and determine only whether there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court's ruling.'" State v. Peterson, 964 S.W.2d 854, 856 (Mo.App. 1998) (quoting State v. Bunts, 867 S.W.2d 277, 278 (Mo.App. 1993). "'The trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress is reversed only if it is clearly erroneous. The trial court's ruling is clearly erroneous if we are left with a definite and firm belief a mistake has been made.'" State v. Tackett, 12 S.W.3d 332, 336 (Mo.App. 2000) (quoting State v. Leavitt, 993 S.W.2d 557, 560 (Mo.App. 1999). This Court will view all evidence and any reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the ruling of the trial court. Id. "We defer to the trial court's evaluation of the credibility of the witnesses and the weight of the evidence." Wells, 33 S.W.3d at 205; State v. Villa-Perez, 835 S.W.2d 897, 902 (Mo. banc 1992).

The facts most favorable to the verdict are as follows: On November 18, 1999, Springfield police officers responded to a call at the Interstate Inn. Hotel management had called the police after smelling ether emanating from one of the hotel rooms. The room was located on the second story of a three-story building, with rooms on either side. Five officers approached the room from its outside entry. The officers smelled the odor of ether coming from the room as they came near the door. The officers knocked on the door and the occupant, Defendant, opened the door after a short delay. The door opened into the room and Defendant started to step out of the room. Once he recognized the police officers, Defendant started to go back inside and tried shutting the door. Police officers attempted to stop Defendant from re-entering the room and one officer grabbed Defendant and pulled him out of the room. Defendant resisted and tried unsuccessfully to pull away from the officer. Other officers assisted in pulling Defendant out of the room and laid him on the walkway floor and handcuffed him.

Once the hotel room door was opened, the odor of ether became stronger, indicating to the police that the room was the source of the smell. The officers entered the room to see if any other people were present...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT