State v. HolmesAnnotate this Case
After a trial, Defendant was convicted of misdemeanor criminal nonsupport. Defendant appealed, contending that the trial court erred in overruling his motion for judgment of acquittal claiming Mo. Rev. Stat. 568.040 violated his due process rights because it forced him to disprove an element of the offense. Specifically, Defendant asserted that section 568.040 was unconstitutional because it makes lack of good cause an element of the crime of criminal support but then shifts the burden of proving good cause to the defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction, holding (1) the statute makes lack of good cause an element of the offense that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt; and (2) sufficient evidence supported the trial judge's conclusion that Defendant's failure to pay the ordered child support was without good cause.