Thursday, May 23, 2013

State of Missouri v. Roberts case brief

State of Missouri v. Roberts case brief
8 S.W.3d 124

CASE SYNOPSIS: The State appealed from the judgment of the circuit court of Jackson County (Missouri) convicting the respondent of misdemeanor animal abuse in violation of Mo. Rev. Stat. § 578.012 (1994), entered after the circuit court set aside the jury's guilty verdict on the charge of felony animal abuse.

FACTS: Respondent beat his dog, fracturing five ribs, and destroying surrounding muscles and arteries. A postmortem revealed the dog died of trauma, some hemorrhage and pain and poor heart function. Respondent was charged under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 578.012 (1994), which required the state to show that an animal's suffering was the result of torture and mutilation. Respondent was found guilty by a jury of felony animal abuse. The circuit court set the verdict aside and entered a judgment of conviction of misdemeanor animal abuse, reasoning that mutilation required some kind of an external injury, some scarring or some kind of destruction to a limb or other part of the body. On appeal, the State argued that the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's verdict, that the evidence proved that respondent mutilated his dog. The court reversed, holding that the definition of mutilation did not exclude internal injuries.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed and remanded with instructions that the trial court enter judgment convicting respondent of felony animal abuse, holding the State had produced sufficient evidence to support a jury verdict of felony animal abuse because the injuries suffered by the animal need not be external injuries to constitute mutilation.

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