74 Mo. 253 (Mo. 1881), State v. Ward

Citation:74 Mo. 253
Opinion Judge:SHERWOOD, C. J.
Party Name:THE STATE v. WARD, Appellant.
Attorney:G. S. Van Wagoner and A. W. Alexander for appellant. D. H. McIntyre, Attorney General, for the State.
Court:Supreme Court of Missouri
 
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Page 253

74 Mo. 253 (Mo. 1881)

THE STATE

v.

WARD, Appellant.

Supreme Court of Missouri.

October Term, 1881

Appeal from St. Louis Court of Appeals.

AFFIRMED.

G. S. Van Wagoner and A. W. Alexander for appellant.

D. H. McIntyre, Attorney General, for the State.

SHERWOOD, C. J.

The defendant appeals to this court, having been convicted in the trial court of murder in the first degree. Annie Lewis is the name of the person he is charged with having murdered.

I.

The ruling was correct which denied defendant's motion for a further continuance. He had previously obtained two continuances, and the third application disclosed none of that diligence which the law requires. The cause was set for May 17th, 1880, yet notwithstanding the fact of two continuances having been granted, no steps were taken and no subpœ nas issued preparatory to the coming trial till May 10th, but one short week before the trial above mentioned. All of the witnesses named in the application appear to have resided in St. Louis at the time of defendant's arrest in 1879, and their residence was then known to him, and earlier movements should have been taken to have secured their attendance. What one of the witnesses would have sworn was admitted by the circuit attorney; it was agreed by him that the absent witness, Dick Jenkyns, would swear, if present, that at the time of the killing, and for many days next prior thereto, the defendant was in an unsound state of mind; that his talk was wild, incoherent, irrational; that his conduct during all of said time was utterly different from his ordinary conduct; that it indicated a total lack of purpose and of care for himself or of aim or regard for his future; that his mind seemed to be in a tumult; that it was so disordered and unsound that he was unable to control his thoughts, his talk or his conduct, and did not reflect upon or distinguish between right and wrong, and was not responsible in morals for his language or his acts. The other absent witnesses were expected to establish the same things, and yet so little importance was attached by defendant's counsel to the agreement of the circuit attorney, that the admission he made as to what Jenkyns would swear was not, as it might have been under the statute, offered by the defendant in evidence.

So frequently has this court passed upon the question of propriety of refusing...

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