State v. Turner, No. SD 31446.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtNANCY STEFFEN RAHMEYER
Citation367 S.W.3d 183
Decision Date08 June 2012
Docket NumberNo. SD 31446.
PartiesSTATE of Missouri, Plaintiff–Respondent, v. Craig Lamar TURNER, Defendant–Appellant.

367 S.W.3d 183

STATE of Missouri, Plaintiff–Respondent,
v.
Craig Lamar TURNER, Defendant–Appellant.

No. SD 31446.

Missouri Court of Appeals,
Southern District,
Division One.

June 8, 2012.


[367 S.W.3d 184]


Margaret M. Johnston, for appellant.

Chris Koster, Attorney General, Jennifer A. Wideman, for respondent.


NANCY STEFFEN RAHMEYER, J.

Craig Lamar Turner (“Appellant”) was charged with robbery in the first degree with a deadly weapon in violation of section 569.020.1 A jury subsequently convicted

[367 S.W.3d 185]

Appellant of the lesser included offense of robbery in the second degree, and the trial court 2 sentenced Appellant to ten years in prison. Appellant appeals his jury conviction on the sole point that the trial court erred in denying Appellant's request for a mistrial based on a police officer's explanations that he believed Appellant “could” or “might be” the robber based on the victim's description of the robber and “possible prior contact that I've had with Mr. Turner.” We find no abuse of the trial court's discretion or prejudice to Appellant, and affirm his conviction and the trial court's judgment.

Facts and Procedural History

In February 2011, Appellant was charged with robbery in the first degree with a deadly weapon, in violation of section 569.020, as a prior offender. The robbery was alleged to have occurred in November 2010, in Pulaski County.

Appellant filed a written motion that the trial court “suppress all references ... regarding the alias/nickname of ‘scenario’ and that [Appellant] was ‘known to the police[.]’ ” During a pretrial hearing on March 21, 2011, Appellant brought the motion to the court's attention. The State had no objection to the motion on the case in chief considering the person who stated to a detective that it was “scenario” who did this and when asked, “who's scenario,” said, “Craig Turner,” would probably not be called as a witness. The trial court granted Appellant's “motion in limine concerning scenario” as far as the State's case in chief. Appellant had only specifically requested the relief that the trial court “suppress all evidence regarding the alias ... and for any such further relief as the [trial c]ourt deems just and proper.”

Appellant does not claim that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Accordingly, we set forth only those facts necessary to resolve the issue Appellant raises in this appeal. We view the evidence and inferences in the light most favorable to the verdict, and disregard all contrary evidence and inferences. State v. Wolfe, 344 S.W.3d 822, 825 (Mo.App. S.D.2011); State v. Barriner, 111 S.W.3d 396, 397 (Mo. banc 2003); State v. Williams, 97 S.W.3d 462, 466 (Mo. banc 2003). Viewed in this light, the evidence introduced at trial established the following facts.

Brian Salter lives in England, but, in early November 2010, was visiting family in Vichy. On the evening of November 4, 2010, a friend took Salter to St. Robert, and dropped him off at a bar called Shenanigan's. Salter intended to meet a female friend at the bar. Salter had over $500 in cash because he and the female friend intended to go shopping the next day. Salter arrived at the bar around 9:30 in the evening, and stayed until around 1:30 the following morning, which was shortly before the bar closed. Salter did not meet his friend because “[s]he wasn't able to make it.” Salter had a few drinks that evening, but he was “not at all” intoxicated.

In the course of the evening, Salter met Appellant and a woman named Nicole. Salter had never met or spoken to Appellant before. Salter visited with Appellant for about 15 to 20 minutes, and bought Appellant a drink. Appellant had the opportunity to see the cash Salter had when Salter opened his wallet to pay for Appellant's drink. Appellant also told Salter Appellant's name was Craig Turner. Salter visited with Nicole for about the same length of time as he visited with Appellant.

[367 S.W.3d 186]

Nicole offered to have sex with Salter for money, but Salter “wasn't really interested.” Salter did, however, give Nicole his “cell number.” Salter also “played pool with a few guys and stuff like that.”

When Salter left the bar, he saw Appellant in a car “with several males.” Appellant offered Salter a ride, but Salter declined because “something made me feel uneasy about the whole situation.” Salter then walked to “the Waffle House to get something to eat.” On the way to the Waffle House, Nicole called and sent text messages to Salter asking where he was, and again offering to exchange sex for money. Salter replied that he was at the Waffle House, and Nicole subsequently came to the Waffle House. Salter and Nicole left the Waffle House together because Nicole “said she knew a place” for Salter to get a room. The first place Nicole took Salter was full, but Salter and Nicole went to the Relax Inn and Salter took a room. Nicole entered the room with Salter, and the two of them began talking. In the course of his conversation with Nicole, Salter took off his jacket and shoes, turned on the television, and “ran a bath.” Salter's wallet was in his jacket.

Nicole had “two cell phones,” “was constantly ... texting someone,” and was acting “really edgy.” Nicole again offered sex for pay, and Salter “kind of suggested that she leave.” Nicole then unlocked the room door and let Appellant into the room.

Appellant ordered Salter, “[g]et on the floor. I'll blow your [expletive] head off.” Appellant also told Salter that he had a “.22,” and pressed an object into the back of Salter's head that felt like “a solid metal object.” Appellant ordered Salter to crawl to his wallet. Salter could not “quite gather myself” to remember where his wallet was, and was unable to find his wallet. Appellant was “getting very agitated with [Salter],” and Salter thought “[Appellant] was going to kill [him].”

Appellant ordered Salter to crawl into the bathroom and get into the bathtub in which Salter earlier had placed water. Appellant told Salter to “stay there or else [Appellant would] kill [him.]” Appellant then left the bathroom. Once everything was quiet, Salter got out of the bathtub, locked his exterior room door, and called the police.

Salter's jacket, wallet, passport, cell phone, and shoes were missing from his room.

Salter observed Appellant “[v]ery briefly” when he first entered Salter's room, and recognized his voice “[s]traight away.” Salter was “100 percent” sure the man who entered his room was Appellant. When St. Robert police officer Daniel Cordova arrived a few minutes later, Salter identified the two persons who had robbed him as “Craig” and “Nicole.” Salter also described both Craig and Nicole to Officer Cordova. Nicole had “unique” tattoos. Officer Cordova took Salter to the police station where Salter noticed a picture of Appellant on a desk. Salter told the officers present the person in the picture was the person who robbed him.

In the very early morning hours of November 6, 2010, Appellant was arrested at the Ranch Motel where he was staying with Jessica Kraus. The Ranch Motel was located “immediately adjacent” to the Relax Inn. At the time of Appellant's arrest, Salter's shoes were located in the trunk of Kraus' vehicle. Kraus' vehicle was located “[r]ight outside” the room in which Appellant and Kraus were staying.

That evening in the course of an interview with St. Robert police officer Michael Hartness, Appellant told Officer Hartness that Nicole “had come by that morning and given him the jacket.” Appellant also

[367 S.W.3d 187]

told Officer Hartness that “look, if you get me out of here for 30 minutes, I'll get all of the dude's [expletive] back for you.” Appellant then took Officer Hartness to the Ranch Motel room where Appellant had been arrested. On entering the room, Appellant asked Kraus “where the trash was.” Kraus then took Officer Hartness and Appellant to a dumpster located across the street from Kraus' parents' home, and Kraus pointed to...

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3 practice notes
  • State v. Stufflebean, No. ED 105246
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • March 13, 2018
    ...than that a defendant is known to police is not clear evidence that the defendant was involved in another crime. State v. Turner , 367 S.W.3d 183, 188-89 (Mo. App. S.D. 2012). While Clark’s statement was slightly more specific than mere knowledge of Appellant, it nonetheless was sufficientl......
  • State v. Byers, No. ED 105196
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • July 10, 2018
    ...do not warrant a mistrial unless the reference is clear evidence of the defendant’s involvement in another crime." State v. Turner , 367 S.W.3d 183, 188 (Mo. App. S.D. 2012) (quoting State v. Norris , 237 S.W.3d 640, 644 (Mo. App. S.D. 2007) ). Accordingly, we find the trial court did not a......
  • State v. Blevins, No. SD 31862.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 17, 2012
    ...carry his burden of showing prejudice; i.e., a reasonable probability that any error affected the trial's outcome. State v. Turner, 367 S.W.3d 183, 188 (Mo.App.2012).Conclusion Finding neither prejudice nor abuse of discretion, we affirm the convictions.JEFFREY W. BATES, J., and DON E. BURR......
3 cases
  • State v. Stufflebean, No. ED 105246
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • March 13, 2018
    ...than that a defendant is known to police is not clear evidence that the defendant was involved in another crime. State v. Turner , 367 S.W.3d 183, 188-89 (Mo. App. S.D. 2012). While Clark’s statement was slightly more specific than mere knowledge of Appellant, it nonetheless was sufficientl......
  • State v. Byers, No. ED 105196
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • July 10, 2018
    ...do not warrant a mistrial unless the reference is clear evidence of the defendant’s involvement in another crime." State v. Turner , 367 S.W.3d 183, 188 (Mo. App. S.D. 2012) (quoting State v. Norris , 237 S.W.3d 640, 644 (Mo. App. S.D. 2007) ). Accordingly, we find the trial court did not a......
  • State v. Blevins, No. SD 31862.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • December 17, 2012
    ...carry his burden of showing prejudice; i.e., a reasonable probability that any error affected the trial's outcome. State v. Turner, 367 S.W.3d 183, 188 (Mo.App.2012).Conclusion Finding neither prejudice nor abuse of discretion, we affirm the convictions.JEFFREY W. BATES, J., and DON E. BURR......

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