Baker v. State, No. 30731

Docket NºNo. 30731
Citation248 Ind. 85, 221 N.E.2d 432
Case DateNovember 28, 1966
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 432

221 N.E.2d 432
248 Ind. 85
Charles Wesley BAKER, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 30731.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Nov. 28, 1966.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 11, 1967.

[248 Ind. 86]

Page 433

Isadore D. Rosenfeld, South Bend, for appellant.

John J. Dillon, Atty. Gen., Murray West, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

ARTERBURN, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal from a judgment convicting the appellant of murder in the perpetration of a robbery. The victim of the killing was one Wesley McElfish, an attendant at the Pacer filling station in South Bend. The appellant was found guilty of murder in the first degree following a jury trial, with the recommendation that he be sentenced to the State Prison for life. The appellant was accordingly sentenced.

Appellant's counsel on July 2, 1964 filed a motion for a new trial, which alleged a number of procedural errors, as well as the insufficiency of the evidence. However, it appears that the appellant chose to supersede the judgment of his counsel, and on July 7, 1964 filed his own motion for a new trial, which was mailed from the Indiana State Penitentiary. This motion for a new trial covered no procedural errors, but merely alleged the evidence was insufficient to sustain the verdict and was contrary to law. Thereafter, appellant's counsel, appointed by the court, filed an amended motion for a new trial on September 14, 1964.

The record shows that the appellant, through this trial and appeal, has attempted at times to override the advice and efforts of counsel appointed for his defense. During the trial he engaged in outbursts during the testimony, such as: 'No I didn't', 'That is a lie', 'I ain't told you nothing', and 'That is a lie'.

It occurs to us that if the State had committed outbursts [248 Ind. 87] of this sort, a defendant would immediately claim error and an unfair trial by such prejudicial remarks. This points out clearly the State's disadvantage in a trial of this sort. A defendant

Page 434

may commit almost any error during the trial and in the presence of the jury, with the hope of prejudicing the jury and securing an acquittal. If he is acquitted regardless of his misconduct, he may claim he cannot be retried because of the double jeopardy provision of the Constitution. The State is helpless in securing a fair trial in such cases. All that the State can do is ask the court to admonish the jury to disregard the defendant's statements and misconduct.

At appellant's request, counsel was appointed at taxpayers' expense to aid him in his defense and appeal. Appellant appeared in court, however, and insisted that his appeal be based upon his own motion for a new trial filed on July 7, 1964 and not those filed by his counsel. Thereupon, the two previous motions for a new trial filed by his counsel were withdrawn. The result is that because of appellant's insistence, and disregarding the advice of his counsel, we are limited in this appeal to the question of whether or not the evidence is sufficient...

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6 practice notes
  • Drollinger v. State, No. 778S146
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • August 26, 1980
    ...to meet the charges against his client. See Powell v. Alabama, (1932) 287 U.S. 45, 53 S.Ct. 55, 77 L.Ed. 158; Baker v. State, (1967) 248 Ind. 85, 221 N.E.2d 432. The record in this case, however, does not reveal Page 1232 a denial of the right to the effective assistance of counsel, nor of ......
  • Hogan v. Review Bd. of Indiana Dept. of Employment and Training Services, Q-1
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 31, 1994
    ...300, 307. We also recognize that "[j]udges have no right, upon mere whim, to disregard rules or principles of law." Baker v. State (1966) 248 Ind. 85, 88, 221 N.E.2d 432, 434. However, given the compelling policy of deciding cases upon the merits rather than technicalities, we hold that thi......
  • Indiana State Personnel Board v. Parkman, No. 20675
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 19, 1968
    ...in its assignment of errors the action of its trial court in striking the transcript. Our Supreme Court in Baker v. State (1966), Ind., 221 N.E.2d 432, 434, clearly pointed out the basis of this rule when the court 'Rules for presenting issues to the court and for appellate procedure are de......
  • Phillips v. Green St. Corp., No. 20679
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 13, 1968
    ...filing of a motion for new trial must be included therein for review on appeal or they are deemed waived. Baker v. State (1967), Ind., 221 N.E.2d 432; Fisher v. State (1966), Ind., 219 N.E.2d 818. Appellant did not include in his motion for new trial the above alleged error, and under the a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Drollinger v. State, No. 778S146
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • August 26, 1980
    ...to meet the charges against his client. See Powell v. Alabama, (1932) 287 U.S. 45, 53 S.Ct. 55, 77 L.Ed. 158; Baker v. State, (1967) 248 Ind. 85, 221 N.E.2d 432. The record in this case, however, does not reveal Page 1232 a denial of the right to the effective assistance of counsel, nor of ......
  • Hogan v. Review Bd. of Indiana Dept. of Employment and Training Services, Q-1
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 31, 1994
    ...300, 307. We also recognize that "[j]udges have no right, upon mere whim, to disregard rules or principles of law." Baker v. State (1966) 248 Ind. 85, 88, 221 N.E.2d 432, 434. However, given the compelling policy of deciding cases upon the merits rather than technicalities, we hold that thi......
  • Indiana State Personnel Board v. Parkman, No. 20675
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 19, 1968
    ...in its assignment of errors the action of its trial court in striking the transcript. Our Supreme Court in Baker v. State (1966), Ind., 221 N.E.2d 432, 434, clearly pointed out the basis of this rule when the court 'Rules for presenting issues to the court and for appellate procedure are de......
  • Phillips v. Green St. Corp., No. 20679
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 13, 1968
    ...filing of a motion for new trial must be included therein for review on appeal or they are deemed waived. Baker v. State (1967), Ind., 221 N.E.2d 432; Fisher v. State (1966), Ind., 219 N.E.2d 818. Appellant did not include in his motion for new trial the above alleged error, and under the a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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