310 F.2d 924 (9th Cir. 1962), 17937, Baker v. United States

Docket Nº:17937.
Citation:310 F.2d 924
Party Name:James Richard BAKER, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:November 20, 1962
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 924

310 F.2d 924 (9th Cir. 1962)

James Richard BAKER, Appellant,


UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 17937.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

November 20, 1962

Rehearing Denied Jan. 18, 1963.

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Gordian S. Benes, Richard L. Daly, and Robert J. O'Hanlon, St. Louis, Mo., for appellant.

John W. Bonner, U.S. Atty., Melvin, D. Close, Jr., and Thomas R. C. Wilson, III, Asst. U.S. Attys., Las Vegas, Nev., for appellee.

Before ORR, HAMLEY and JERTBERG, Circuit Judges.

HAMLEY, Circuit Judge.

James Richard Baker was tried and convicted of knowingly transporting Carol Lou Thomas from Tiller, Oregon to Elko, Nevada, for the purpose of prostitution, in violation of the White Slave Traffic Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2421. He appeals, asserting that the trial court erred in admitting certain evidence, in failing to instruct the jury on certain points, and in erroneously instructing them as to other matters.

For the purposes of appeal the facts are established by the undisputed testimony of Miss Thomas. In the latter part of June, 1959, Miss Thomas met Baker in Elko, Nevada, while both were passengers on a bus. Baker got off at Reno, Nevada, but she continued on to Tracy, California, where she made her home with her sister and brother-in-law. In August, 1959, Baker visited Miss Thomas two or three days at Tracy.

About the middle of September, 1959, he returned to Tracy and told miss Thomas that he was married but was getting a divorce. He asked her to go with him to Reno and to marry him after the divorce. She agreed and they left Tracy in his automobile. When they reached Sacramento, California, Baker suggested to her that she could make money for him by being a prostitute. They did not stop at Sacramento but drove on to Tiller, Oregon, where they stayed at his home.

Baker and Miss Thomas stayed in Tiller for three or four days and then drove in his automobile to Reno, Nevada, where they checked into a motel. She then went downtown and had her hair dyed platinum blonde, after which they drove to Elko. When they reached Elko, they went to Betty's D & D Club, arriving there about 3:00 o'clock A.M. After they entered the club Baker left Miss Thomas and went into another room with a girl who was present. When he returned he told Miss Thomas that Betty did not have any room for anybody, 'but he knew they did because they were always needing girls.'

The two then drove to a Joe Conforte's place in Wadsworth, Nevada, arriving there at 6:00 o'clock A.M. Baker told Miss Thomas he would see if they needed any girls, and went inside. When he returned to the automobile he told Miss Thomas to go inside with him. She did so and Baker introduced her to the maid who showed her to a room. Baker then left.

Miss Thomas worked as a prostitute in this house for four or five days, this being the first time she had done such work. She made two or three hundred dollars which she turned over to Baker when he returned at the end of this period.

Miss Thomas then went with Baker in his automobile to Winnemucca, Nevada, where she began working as a prostitute at Mickey's My Place bar. Baker then left. Four or five days later, Miss Thomas left this place and arranged to have two truck drivers take her to Sacramento. There she took a bus and returned to her sister's home in Tracy. Baker called for her a day or so later and took her to the Moonlight Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, where he arranged for her to work as a prostitute.

Four or five days later they left Carson City. Miss Thomas' testimony is confused as to what they did next. They may have driven directly to Peoria, Illinois. On the other hand they may have driven first to Caseyville, Illinois, where they picked up Baker's daughter at the house of his mother. If the latter is the case, they then took the girl to his father's home in Grant's Pass, Oregon, before going to Peoria. In either event, they reached Peoria about November 1, 1959. Baker arranged to have her work there

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as a prostitute in a house operated by one Pam Miller. Miss Thomas worked there until January, 1960, when she returned to Oregon.

Appellant's first two points on appeal relate to the testimony of Pam Miller. Testifying for the Government over the objection of Baker's counsel, she corroborated the testimony of Mill Thomas concerning the events which occurred in Peoria. Appellant argues that Pam Miller's testimony should have been excluded as 'substantive evidence of an independent crime.'

Testimony concerning events in Peoria tended to prove an independent crime, since the indictment charged only a transportation between Tiller, Oregon and Elko, Nevada. It is the general rule that on the trial of a person accused of crime, proof of a distinct, independent offense is inadmissible. Tedesco v. United States, 9 Cir., 118 F.2d 737, 739-740.

But there are several exceptions to this rule, one being that proof of an independent crime may be produced to show the intent with which the alleged act was committed. Bush v. United States, 9 Cir., 267 F.2d 483, 489; Tedesco, above, at page 740 of 118 F.2d.


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