S-14-0519 State v. Eric M. Henry (Appellant)
Platte County, Judge Robert R. Steinke
Attorneys: Mark M. Sipple, Erik C. Klutman (Sipple Hansen Emerson Schumacher & Klutman) (Appellant) --- James D. Smith (Attorney General’s Office)
Criminal: First degree murder; use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony; criminal conspiracy to commit robbery
Proceedings below: A jury returned guilty verdicts on the above counts. Appellant was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder; life to 40 years for use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony; and 40 to 50 years for conspiracy. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively.
Issues: I. The trial court erred in giving an instruction to the jury, to-wit, Instruction No. 2 that foretold and presumed a finding of guilt. In particular, the court erred in giving an instruction to the jury that used the word "unless" and used the word "until" in the same sentence. Appellant timely objected to the giving of Instruction No. 2. II. The trial court erred in overruling Appellant's Motion in Limine. (T13) It was error by the trial court in allowing the Appellee's pathologist to testify as to any aspect of the autopsy he conducted given the fact that the victim's body had been destroyed prior to the time Appellant was provided legal counsel. Timely objection to the testimony of Appellee's pathologist was made at trial and the trial court erred in allowing the pathologist to testify over Appellant's objection. III. The trial court erred in overruling Appellant's Motion for Bill of Particulars. (T26) With respect to Count IV of the Amended Information, for Appellant to have been reasonably informed of the charge against him as contained within said Count IV, Appellant should have been advised as to the name of the supposed victim of the conspiracy. IV. The trial court erred in failing to sustain Appellant's Motion to Sever. (T30)
V. The court erred when it failed to grant Appellant's Motion for New Trial. VI. The trial court erred in admitting Exhibits 84, 86 and 83 into evidence over objections as to foundation, hearsay, and completeness. VII. The court erred in admitting Exhibits 84, 86 and 83 when Rule 901 requirements for authenticity were not met. VIII. The court erred when it allowed Exhibits 84 and 86 into evidence, those exhibits being redacted summaries of cell phone text messages between certain phones. IX. The court erred and abused its discretion in allowing Exhibits 84 and 86 to go to the jury. x. The court erred in allowing the State's attorney in direct examination to repeatedly, in questioning a State's witness, make an assumption that Appellant himself was sending certain text messages and not simply that they were coming from a cell phone number. XI. The trial court erred in, over objection, allowing State's witness to engage in speculation and conjecture as to what a certain cell phone text message meant.