4 So.2d 671 (Fla. 1941), Johnson v. State

Citation:4 So.2d 671, 148 Fla. 510
Opinion Judge:Author: Buford
Party Name:JOHNSON v. STATE.
Attorney:P. Guy Crews, for Appellant;
Case Date:November 21, 1941
Court:Supreme Court of Florida

Page 671

4 So.2d 671 (Fla. 1941)

148 Fla. 510




Florida Supreme Court

November 21, 1941

[148 Fla. 511] Appeal from Circuit Court, Madison County; R. H. Rowe, Judge.

Page 672

P. Guy Crews, of Jacksonville, for appellant.

J. Tom Watson, Atty. Gen., Sidney L. Segall, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Woodrow M. Melvin, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

BUFORD, Justice.

Appellant was convicted of the crime of manslaughter alleged to have been committed by the negligent operating of an automobile on the public highway in Madison County, Florida.

The record shows that while appellant was driving a pick-up truck at a speed of between 40 and 50 miles per hour going east on State Road No. 1 near the Town of Lee and while he was in a state of stupor from loss of sleep (he having voluntarily refrained from sleeping during the then past more than thirty hours) he so drove the automobile that it left the south or right side of the highway, ran over the north or left side of the highway and when about 3 feet off the pavement struck and killed the alleged victim.

The record shows that the appellant knew what his condition of stupor was because he had just prior to the accident fallen asleep at a place where he stopped to get a bottle of beer. Therefore he knew he was in no condition to operate a motor vehicle and he knew that by operating such vehicle in such place while he was in such condition he thereby endangered the lives of all people traveling on such highway. When the accused assumed to do this he was guiltty of criminal negligence and cannot escape the responsibility by [148 Fla. 512] averring that he fell asleep and did not realize that he had hit and killed an unfortunate human being who was entirely without fault.

It is urged here that the judgment should be reversed because appellant was not represented by counsel at the trial which resulted in his conviction. The record shows that the accused was represented by counsel when he was arraigned on the information and that his counsel filed motion to quash; that on motion to quash being denied, accused pleaded 'not guilty' and the cause was set for trial.

The record does not show that counsel was present at the trial. Neither does it show that accused objected to going to trial without counsel nor that he in any manner brought to the attention of the Court any reason why the trial should not then...

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