Beard v. State

CourtSupreme Court of Indiana
Citation227 Ind. 717,88 N.E.2d 769
Docket NumberNo. 28503.,28503.
PartiesBEARD v. STATE.
Decision Date01 December 1949

227 Ind. 717
88 N.E.2d 769


No. 28503.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

Dec. 1, 1949.

Lauery Junior Beard was convicted on a plea of guilty of inflicting physical injury upon another with a dangerous instrument while engaged in the commission of a robbery, and thereafter moved the Circuit Court, Ripley County, Curtis W. Thompson, J., to annul and vacate the judgment, which motion was denied, and the movant appealed.

The Supreme Court, Emmert, J., reversed the order and judgment denying such motion, with instructions that motion be granted and that the movant be permitted to withdraw his plea of guilty.

[88 N.E.2d 770]

Joseph M. Cooper, Madison, Eugene Cooper, Madison, Cooper & Cooper, Madison, Arthur D. Cutler, Madison, for appellant.

J. Emmett McManamon, Atty. Gen., Charles F. O'Connor, Deputy Atty. Gen., Merl M. Wall. Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee.

EMMERT, Judge.

This is an appeal from an order and judgment denying appellant's amended motion to annul and vacate a judgment entered by the trial court convicting appellant of the offense of inflicting physical injury upon Laura Lambertson with a dangerous instrument while engaged in the commission of a robbery,1 and imposing a life sentence therefor. The motion also prayed leave to withdraw his plea of guilty to the affidavit. Although the pleading is designated as such motion, it is in fact a petition for a writ of error coram nobis and will be so considered here. Sanders v. State, 1882, 85 Ind. 318, 44 Am.Rep. 29. The error here assigned is that the order of the trial court is contrary to law. This is a proper assignment of error pursuant to Rule 2-40. The allegations of the petition were put at issue by a denial filed by the state. The evidence introduced on the hearing consisted of the record made by the trial court on arraignment as required by Rule 1-11, the intrinsic record concerning the original prosecution, the verified petition, the affidavit of appellant's stepmother, and oral testimony. No evidence was offered or introduced by the state.

Although on appeal this court presumes the action of the trial court was correct, undisputed facts will be taken as true, and as said by Myers, C. J. in Atkinson v. State, 1920, 190 Ind. 1, 6, 128 N.E. 433, 434: ‘* * * the only course open to us is to pronounce judgment of law upon these facts.’ See also Batchelor v. State, 1920, 189 Ind. 69, 125 N.E. 773;Sanders v. State, 1882, 85 Ind. 318, 44 Am.Rep. 29, supra.

The amended petition, among other allegations, averred that appellant ‘was induced into entering the plea of guilty by reason of threats of mob violence which were communicated to him by policemen and other officers * * *’ and ‘* * * he was fearful of death or great bodily harm at the hands of a mob, in view of the information conveyed to him by said officers and policemen.’

The record discloses that the offense was alleged to have been committed September 9, 1947, and the affidavit filed three days later. On Saturday, September 13th, appellant was arraigned, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to imprisonment for life.

The evidence, when considered most favorably to the state, discloses the appellant and his stepmother were arrested on the preceding Tuesday by the police officers of Madison, Indiana. The chief of police of Madison stated to appellant's mother in substance that appellant was ‘better off in jail and that if you [appellant]

[88 N.E.2d 771]

got out you might be strung up.’ He also advised appellant's mother not to furnish bond. The sheriff of Jefferson County testified fifteen to twenty people from Ripley and Jefferson Counties inquired about Beard, which inquiries continued until after appellant had been removed from the Jefferson County Jail, at which time some of these persons said that his removal might save the sheriff some trouble and that ‘there had been a lynching in Ripley County some forty years ago that week and there might be another one.’ The sheriff took precautions in order to protect the prisoner while in his custody, although he did not tell Beard about the threats.

On the day of the arrest one of the Madison police officers told Lucille Beard, stepmother of appellant, who was under arrest for the same offense, that ‘people were coming down from Ripley County tonight and take both Lauery and me out of jail for what we had done to the old lady [Mrs. Lambertson].’ The same policeman told appellant's mother ‘he is safer locked up. If the men outside get him they will string him up to a tree.’ The evidence of Lucille Beard, the appellant, the sheriff of Ripley County, and the state policeman all revealed that when appellant was removed from the Jefferson County jail on Saturday, the day of arraignment, the two officers said in substance they would protect the prisoners, but that if there was any trouble when they got to Versailles they were to lie down and the officers would take care of them, and that the prisoners were warned by both officers that if any shooting occurred in the courtroom they were to lie down between the benches and the officers would protect them. The sheriff stated, ‘Well, when it happened [the offense] and we went down there, there was some pretty rough talk in that crowd.’ The state policeman testified, ‘I told him when we parked the car exactly what they were to do,...

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7 cases
  • State ex rel. McManamon v. Blackford Circuit Court, 28717
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 7 Dicembre 1950
    ...of the right to counsel. The right to counsel is of itself self-executing, and it should be liberally enforced. Beard v. State, 1949, 227 Ind. 717, 88 N.E.2d 769; Abraham v. State, Ind.1950, 91 N.E.2d 358. In fact it should be more liberally enforced than it has at many times in the past se......
  • Schmittler v. State, 28620
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 22 Giugno 1950
    ...that he was denied his constitutional rights under both provisions. As late as December 1, 1949, this court in Beard v. State, Ind.Sup., 88 N.E.2d 769, 770, said, in passing upon denial of a constitutional right: 'Although on appeal this court presumes the action of the trial court was corr......
  • Yessen v. State, 29196
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 20 Maggio 1955
    ...Cassidy v. State, 1929, 201 Ind. 311, 168 N.E. 18, 66 A.L.R. 622; Kuhn v. State, 1944, 222 Ind. 179, 52 N.E.2d 491; Beard v. State, 1949, 227 Ind. 717, 88 N.E.2d 769. Under such undisputed facts is becomes our duty to apply the law to the facts. Atkinson v. State, 1920, 190 Ind. 1, 128 N.E.......
  • Masuth v. State, 29081
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 16 Giugno 1954
    ...nobis petition where constitutional rights are violated. State v. Lindsey, 1952, 231 Ind. 126, 134, 106 N.E.2d 230. Beard v. State, 1949, 227 Ind. 717, 723, 88 N.E.2d 769. Batchelor v. State, 1920, 189 Ind. 69, 84, 125 N.E. The court was without power to hear evidence on the subject of the ......
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