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Case Summary for March 1, 2016


Attached to the following docketed cases are electronic copies of briefs filed by the parties. These electronic briefs have been converted to PDF to accommodate various word processors. If you do not already have Acrobat reader, which is necessary to open the PDFs, you may obtain it free at the Adobe website. (A set of free tools that allow visually disabled users to read documents in Adobe PDF format is available from These briefs do not reflect any opinion of the Court about the appropriateness of the format of the briefs or the merits of the case, nor are they official court records. Copies of all briefs filed with the Court are available at the Supreme Court Building in the court en banc division.

The attachments below may not reflect all briefs filed with the Court, the complete filing or the format of the original filing. Appendices and other attachments generally will not be posted here. To see what documents have been filed in a particular case, visit


9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation v. Director of Revenue
Cole County
Challenge to denial of sales tax refund request
Listen to the oral argument: SC95181.mp3SC95181.mp3
Krispy Kreme was represented during arguments by Edward F. Downey of Bryan Cave LLP in Jefferson City; the director was represented by Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah J. Morgan of the attorney general’s office in Jefferson City.

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation owned and operated five Krispy Kreme stores in Missouri between April 2003 and December 2005 (the tax periods at issue). Krispy Kreme’s retail sales included doughnuts, bagged coffee beans and ground coffee, coffee and coffee-related drinks, hot chocolate, milk, bottled water, bottled juices, and other soft drinks. When Krispy Kreme filed its Missouri sales tax returns for the tax periods at issue, its state tax manager was unaware Missouri had a lower sales tax rate, pursuant to section 144.014, RSMo, for certain sales of food prepared for immediate consumption. Krispy Kreme paid the full state sales tax rate on its sales at retail and later sought a refund of those sales taxes. The administrative hearing commission denied the refund, and ultimately this Court remanded the case (sent it back) to the commission for a further determination of facts. Krispy Kreme subsequently conducted an Internet questionnaire of its customers to determine when they consumed the doughnuts they purchased from Krispy Kreme. During the hearing on remand, the commission admitted the results of the survey into evidence over the director of revenue’s objection but then assigned little weight to the results. The commission concluded Krispy Kreme did not establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that its doughnuts were not prepared for immediate consumption and, therefore, the commission determined Krispy Kreme was not entitled to the tax refund. Krispy Kreme appeals.

This case presents several questions for the Court. A preliminary issue is whether the appropriate standard of review is if the decision is against the weight of the evidence or if the decision is supported by competent and substantial evidence on the whole record. Another question is whether Krispy Kreme met its burden or whether the commission correctly concluded the company did not meet its burden. A related question involves whether the survey was admissible to prove customer consumption during the tax period nearly 10 years earlier. Other related issues involve the reasonable interpretation of section 144.014 as well as whether the plain meaning of “food prepared … for immediate consumption” requires consideration of the length of time between the preparation of food and its consumption and applies to Krispy Kreme’s doughnuts.


State of Missouri v Roscoe R. Meeks
St. Louis city
Challenges to jury selection, closing argument and sentence in assault case
Listen to the oral argument: SC95221.mp3SC95221.mp3
Meeks was represented during arguments by Gwenda R. Robinson of the public defender’s office in St. Louis; the state was represented by Gregory L. Barnes of the attorney general’s office in Jefferson City.

A group of men, including Mario Valdez, got together at a St. Louis apartment during the July 4th holiday in 2012. While they were outside the apartment speaking with neighbors that evening, a man came around a corner and began asking about a woman. The man seemed angry and convinced that Valdez was the person for whom he was looking. Valdez did not know the man or the woman about whom the man was asking. The man pulled out a gun and ultimately shot Valdez twice. Police arrived, and Valdez was transported to the hospital, where he underwent surgery and spent five days. During their investigation, police interviewed a woman who said the description of the shooter matched Roscoe Meeks. Police showed a witness a photograph lineup that included Meeks’ photograph; the witness ultimately identified Meeks as the shooter. Police also showed a photographic lineup to Valdez, who did not identify anyone from that lineup but who later identified Meeks from a four-person physical lineup, as did the other witness. The state charged Meeks with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. Following a December 2013 trial, a jury found Meeks guilty as charged. The trial court sentenced him, as a persistent felony offender, to concurrent prison terms. Meeks appeals.

This appeal presents several questions for the Court. One is whether the prosecutor’s strike from the jury pool a black prospective juror who responded negatively to a racist comment made during jury selection by a white prospective juror was race-neutral or whether it violated the United States Supreme Court’s 1986 decision in Batson v. Kentucky as well as Meeks’ state and federal constitutional rights to equal protection and a fair trial. Another issue is whether the trial court should have permitted Meeks’ counsel to argue the seriousness of a criminal conviction and its effect on Meeks’ liberty and whether the court violated Meeks’ state and federal constitutional rights to due process, to assistance of counsel, to present a defense and to a fair trial in not permitting this argument. An additional question is how this Court should remedy a clear error the parties agree the trial court made in pronouncing different sentences for Meeks orally and in writing.


State ex rel. Ryan W. Amorine v. The Honorable Kelly Wayne Parker
Crawford County
Challenge to proposed probation revocation
Listen to the oral argument: SC95301.mp3SC95301.mp3
Amorine was represented during arguments by Matthew R. Miller of the public defender’s office in Rolla; the state was represented by Caroline M. Coulter of the attorney general’s office in Jefferson City.

Ryan Amorine pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and second-degree domestic assault. The circuit court in May 2011 suspended imposition of sentence and placed Amorine on probation for five years. In September 2014, Amorine admitted violating conditions of his probation. The circuit court reinstated Amorine’s probation and extended the term of probation for an additional year. In January 2015, Amorine’s probation officer filed reports indicating Amorine had not completed community service or paid court costs. After several continuances, the circuit court in April 2015 suspended Amorine’s probation. After several additional continuances, the court held a hearing in September 2015, at which Amorine’s counsel argued the court had lost authority to revoke probation when his optimal and earned discharge dates passed without the state moving to revoke probation. Amorine believes his probation term expired no later than July 2015 based on his calculation of earned compliance credits under state statute. The court found it had jurisdiction because the probation term had not expired, overruled Amorine’s motion to be discharged from probation, allowed the state to file a motion to revoke probation and set a probation revocation hearing for October 2015. Amorine seeks this Court’s writ prohibiting the circuit court from proceeding with the revocation.

This case presents several related questions for the Court – how earned compliance credits should be calculated in this case, whether the circuit court’s suspension of Amorine’s probation in April 2015 extended the period of probation, whether Amorine’s probation ended by operation of law no later than July 2015 and whether the circuit court retained jurisdiction (legal authority) over Amorine’s probation after that date.


Walter Barton v. State of Missouri
Cass and Christian counties
Appeal of denial of post-conviction relief in death penalty case
Listen to the oral argument: SC95139.mp3SC95139.mp3
Barton was represented during arguments by Frederick A. Duchardt Jr., an attorney in Trimble; the state was represented by Michael Spillane of the attorney general’s office in Jefferson City.

Walter Barton has been tried multiple times for the October 1991 murder of Gladys Kuehler in Ozark, Missouri, with various changes of venue, two mistrials, a reversal of one trial on direct appeal (when the defendant challenges the trial court’s actions) and vacation of another judgment during the post-conviction relief process (in which the defendant challenges his counsel’s actions). Following his fifth trial in Cass County, the jury found Barton guilty of first-degree murder and recommended a sentence of death. This Court affirmed the judgment in the direct appeal. Barton subsequently sought post-conviction relief. During that process, the circuit court in April 2008 ordered the public defender’s office to represent Barton. That office appointed, by special appointment, a husband and wife who were partners in the private practice of law to represent Barton. In July 2008, the husband filed an amended motion for post-conviction relief on Barton’s behalf and then moved to disqualify the state’s attorney. In September 2010, the public defender’s office sought to remove him as counsel for Barton. Following a hearing, the office abandoned those efforts. In January 2012, the court set the matter for an evidentiary hearing in September 2012. In May 2012, the husband sought and was granted leave to withdraw as Barton’s counsel, leaving only the wife, who by that time was employed by the public defender’s office. Two other assistant public defenders subsequently entered their appearance on Barton’s behalf. One moved for a continuance, which the circuit court overruled. The evidentiary hearing was held as scheduled in September 2012; in February 2013, the circuit court issued its judgment denying relief, which this Court later affirmed. Barton subsequently sought an evidentiary hearing in the circuit court, arguing his post-conviction counsel abandoned him. In June 2015, the circuit court overruled his petition without a hearing. Barton appeals.

This appeal raises several questions for this Court relating to whether the circuit court clearly erred – and violated Barton’s state and federal constitutional rights to due process, effective assistance of counsel, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment – in overruling Barton’s request for relief regarding his allegations of abandonment of counsel during his post-conviction proceedings. One is whether, given the nature of the allegations Barton raised, the circuit court should have granted an evidentiary hearing to establish a proper record from which the circuit court and this Court can make a determination. Another issue is whether Barton’s lead counsel suffered from a mental illness at the time of his representation, whether that illness caused counsel to abandon the duties he owed Barton under Rule 29.15 and 29.16 and whether Barton was prejudiced as a result such that the circuit court should have found that counsel abandoned Barton during the post-conviction proceedings.


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