State v. Nicklasson, 967 S.W.2d 596 (Mo., 1998)- 1 -
Page 596967 S.W.2d 596STATE of Missouri, Respondent,v.Allen L. NICKLASSON, Appellant.No. 79163.Supreme Court of Missouri,En Banc.Feb. 24, 1998.As Modified on Denial of RehearingMarch 24, 1998.Page 602
John Bailey, Mesa, Ariz., Patrick J.Berrigan, Kansas City, for appellant.Page 603Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Atty. Gen.,Cheryl A. Caponegro, Asst. Atty. Gen.,Jefferson City, for respondent.ROBERTSON, Judge.Allen Nicklasson took Richard Drummond,a Good Samaritan who had given Nicklassonand his friends a lift when their car broke down,to a secluded spot, told Drummond to kneel,suggested that he say his prayers and shotDrummond twice in the head at point-blank range with a pistol. A jury convicted Nicklassonof first degree murder. The jury alsorecommended the death sentence, which the trialcourt imposed. Nicklasson appeals. We have jurisdiction. MO. CONST. ART. V, SEC. 3 .The judgment is affirmed.I.This is a companion case to State v.Skillicorn, 944 S.W.2d 877 (Mo. banc), cert.denied, --- U.S. ----, 118 S.Ct. 568, 139 L.Ed.2d407 (1997).August 23, 1994, Allen Nicklasson, DennisSkillicorn and Tim DeGraffenreid decided toreturn to Kansas City after a trip east alongInterstate 70 to obtain drugs. They drove a 1983Chevrolet Caprice. It broke down near thewestbound Danville exit on I-70. SergeantAhern and Trooper Morrison of the MissouriState Highway Patrol came upon the disabledauto, helped push the car to the side of the roadand left the men. The troopers last saw the trioas they walked toward a pay phone.By the next morning, August 24, 1994, Nicklasson, Skillicorn and Degraffenreid andtheir car had made 17 miles' progress further west. Near Kingdom City the Caprice brokedown again. In an effort to find jumper cables,the three approached a Missouri Highway andTransportation Department employee working inthe median of the interstate. He could not assistthem. They spotted Merlin Smith's nearby home,decided to burglarize it, and took four guns,ammunition, a skinning knife, money, a pillowcase, some change and a cracker box. Theystashed most of the stolen property in the bushes, then called for a tow truck to take their car to Roger Redmond's garage. Redmond'smechanic found major problems with the car butwas able to restart it. The men paid Redmondwith a cracker box full of change and left in thecar. Nicklasson and his cohorts decided to tryand make it back to Kansas City in their ailingvehicle. First, however, the three men coaxedthe car back toward Smith's house to recover thestolen goods they had previously hidden in the bushes alongside the road. The car gave outagain, this time on the south outer road, east of Kingdom City.