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State v. Barnum

Supreme Court of Missouri
14 S.W.3d 587 (2000)


Facts

Candis West snuck out of her house early in the morning to visit her boyfriend, Brandon Srader. When she arrived at his house, Srader was not home but his 19-year-old sister, Norma Barnum (defendant), was home. West and Barnum went for a walk. When they returned, Srader, two other boys, and three girls, including Jessica Griffin, were at the Srader house. West learned that Srader had been dating Griffin. Griffin and the other girls devised a plan to beat up West. Everyone at the house, except for West and one boy, was aware of the plan. The entire group drove to a low-water bridge located in a rural part of the county. After everyone exited the vehicle, the three girls began to hit and kick West, causing serious injuries including a broken nose and two broken ribs. The girls forced West to undress and threw her into the water. During the assault, Barnum, Srader, and another boy watched. Barnum laughed and encouraged the girls as they beat West. Toward the end of the attack, Barnum shouted to the three girls to “just kill her” and to “run over her” with the vehicle. The group left West in the water and drove away. The State of Missouri (plaintiff) charged Barnum with first-degree assault as an accomplice in the beating of West. Barnum was convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Barnum appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Price, J.)

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