995 S.W.2d 468 (1999)
Case Facts: Cecil Clayton and Martha Ball had been involved in a romantic relationship and had, at times, lived together. By November 1996, their relationship was coming to an end. On November 27, 1996, Martha asked Clayton to meet her at the Country Corner, a store in Purdy, Missouri. She requested that Clayton bring some important papers she had left at his home. Clayton arrived at the store without the papers. Clayton requested that Martha go with him to his home to obtain the papers but she refused. He left and returned with the papers. Clayton was driving his blue Toyota truck with wooden sides.
When Clayton returned with the papers he asked Martha to go out to eat with him. She refused. Clayton became angry, pushed her, and the two began to argue in the store. Barbara Starkey, an employee of the store, noticed the argument and called the Barry County sheriff’s department. Jim McCracken, Purdy chief of police, responded to the call and spoke with Clayton. He lingered in the store until after Clayton left. Martha asked Chief McCracken if he would escort her to Cassville where she was staying with her mother, Dixie Seal. Before Chief McCracken could arrange the escort, Martha left the store saying that she was going to a friend’s home. Martha then went to Vicky Deeter’s home in Monett. Vicky testified that Martha was very scared, pale, and shaking when she arrived at her home.
After leaving the Country Corner store, Clayton went to see his friend, Martin Cole, at around 9:40 p.m. Clayton asked Martin to go with him. Martin declined because he had to drive a friend to work. Clayton became angry, raised his voice, and left.
Martha called Dixie Seal, her mother, at around 9:50 p.m. and advised her sister, Carolyn Leonard, that she was at Vicky’s home. Shortly thereafter, Carolyn heard a vehicle outside, its engine running roughly. She observed the vehicle stop, back into the driveway and turn its lights off. Because there were lights across the top of the cab Carolyn surmised that the vehicle was a truck. She phoned Martha and verified that Clayton was driving the truck. Carolyn then telephoned the Barry County sheriff’s department and advised them that Clayton was on their property and was not welcome. Deputy Christopher Castetter was dispatched to the Seal residence. He contacted the dispatcher when he arrived at 10:03 p.m.
Ralph Paul, Dixie Seal’s neighbor, and his son-in-law, Greg Pickert, had also heard and seen the truck in Seal’s driveway. Ralph phoned Mrs. Seal to inquire about the truck. They described the vehicle as a truck because of the lights across the top and noticed that it was backed into the driveway and running roughly. Shortly thereafter Ralph and Greg went back outside. The truck was gone and the two noticed a car sitting at an angle with the engine running at a high rate of speed and the tires spinning.
Deputies David Bowman and Jason Manning also heard the dispatch regarding the Seal residence and decided to go by the area to assist Deputy Castetter. When they arrived, at approximately 10:06 p.m., Deputy Castetter’s patrol car was sitting at an angle against a tree in the driveway. The car’s engine was still running at a high rate and the tires were spinning and smoking.
Deputy Manning approached the driver’s side of the car. The window was rolled down about an inch, but was not broken. He put the car in park and turned off the engine. Deputy Castetter was leaned over in his seat. His seatbelt was not on; his weapon was still snapped in its holster; his flashlight was no longer secured in its cradle. Deputy Manning attempted to assist Deputy Castetter who was bleeding heavily from his head and having trouble breathing. Deputy Bowman contacted the dispatcher at 10:07 p.m. and advised that an ambulance was needed.
Deputy Bowman went to Mrs. Seal’s home and spoke with Carolyn Leonard and Dixie Seal. Deputy Bowman then contacted the dispatcher and advised that Clayton was believed to have been driving the truck that had been in the driveway.
Deputy Castetter was transported to the hospital by helicopter. He had suffered a gunshot wound to the head, about the middle of his forehead. Despite medical treatments, Deputy Castetter died.
At about 10:10 to 10:15 p.m., Clayton returned to Martin Cole’s house. Clayton asked Martin to accompany him, and the two left in Clayton’s truck. While in the truck Clayton asked Cole “would you believe me, if I told you that I shot a policeman, would you believe me?” Clayton described how he shot the “cop” in the head and how Deputy Castetter then hit the accelerator and hit a tree. Clayton then took the weapon out of his overalls, pointed it at Martin’s head, and threatened to shoot him. He asked Martin if he thought it was loaded. Clayton told Martin that he wanted him to act as an alibi and tell the police that the two had been together all afternoon and evening watching television.
At about 10:15 p.m. Chief McCracken heard a dispatch to be on the lookout for a blue Toyota truck with wooden sides driven by Clayton. McCracken recognized the description of the truck as the one driven by Clayton earlier that evening at the Country Corner store. McCracken met Chief Clint Clark of the Wheaton police department who had also heard the dispatch. The two confirmed Clayton’s home address and then went to his residence.
Clayton was driving toward his home when he saw the two police cars approaching. He parked in the driveway and asked Martin “should I shoot them?” Martin answered no.
The officers activated their car spotlights, and Clayton eventually got out of his truck. The officers identified themselves. Clayton began walking toward the side of his house, advising the officers that he could not hear them. He kept his right hand in his pocket. Clayton refused to remove his hand or approach the officers. He continued toward his house, placed something in a stack of concrete blocks, and returned to his truck. Martin complied with the officers’ request to get out of the truck and was apprehended. Clayton was then apprehended and transported to the sheriff’s department. Martin advised the officers that Clayton had a gun. The officers located the gun in the stack of concrete blocks next to Clayton’s house.
Mike Rogers of the Missouri highway patrol interviewed Clayton. Clayton’s version of the events varied from complete denial to stating that Deputy Castetter “probably should have just stayed home” and that “he shouldn’t have smarted off to me.” Clayton then stated “but I don’t know because I wasn’t out there.”
Following an investigation, Clayton was charged by information in the Circuit Court of Barry County with one count of murder in the first degree and one count of armed criminal action. Venue was transferred from Barry County to Jasper County. A jury found Clayton guilty of murder in the first degree and, finding three aggravating circumstances, recommended that Clayton be sentenced to death for Christopher Castetter’s murder. The trial court imposed the death sentence.