Released for Publication March 13, 2014.
ON APPEAL FROM MCCRACKEN CIRCUIT COURT. HONORABLE TIMOTHY JON KALTENBACH, JUDGE. NO. 12-CR-00025.
COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Roy Alyette Durham, II, Assistant Public Advocate, Department of Public Advocacy.
COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: Jack Conway, Attorney General; James Hays Lawson, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Criminal Appeals.
Kara Rudolph was employed as a cashier clerk at Convenience for Less, an aptly named convenience store located in McCracken County. On the morning of December 4, 2011, Ms. Rudolph arrived at work, unlocked the door, and entered the store. Not intending to open the store to the public at that time, she locked the door behind her and entered her security code into the computerized security system. Soon thereafter, she took the trash out to the dumpster, locking the door behind her. When Ms. Rudolph returned to the store, she was confronted by the Appellant, Samuel Morgan. Morgan placed a knife to her side and stated, " I want the money, just give me the money." She unlocked the door and the two entered the store. Morgan proceeded to take in excess of $700 in cash and coins from the store's register and safe, which he placed in a sack. He then fled the store.
An investigating detective secured a copy of the store's surveillance video, from which he later obtained still shot photographs; A few days later, the police located a vehicle depicted in the surveillance video at the residence of Morgan's acquaintances, Robert Purefoy and Kimberly French. Robert Purefoy informed the police that, on the weekend of the robbery, he loaned his car to his sister, Tiffany Purefoy, who was Morgan's girlfriend at the time. Based on this information and further investigation, Morgan was subsequently
arrested and indicted for robbery in the first degree and for being a persistent felony offender (" PFO" ) in the first degree.
A McCracken Circuit Court jury found Morgan guilty of robbery in the first degree and of being a persistent felony offender (" PFO" ) in the first degree. The jury recommended a sentence of imprisonment for a term of twenty years for the first-degree robbery conviction, enhanced to twenty-five years by the PFO conviction. The trial court sentenced Morgan in accord with the jury's recommendation. Morgan now appeals his judgment and sentence as a ...