Bolt v. United States, 4154.

Decision Date01 December 1924
Docket NumberNo. 4154.,4154.
Citation55 App. DC 120,2 F.2d 922
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit

E. C. Kriz and Goodhue Weatherly, both of Washington, D. C., for plaintiff in error.

Peyton Gordon and J. J. O'Leary, both of Washington, D. C., for the United States.

Before MARTIN, Chief Justice, and ROBB and VAN ORSDEL, Associate Justices.

ROBB, Associate Justice.

Plaintiff in error was convicted in the police court of the District of Columbia of the crime of carrying a concealed deadly or dangerous weapon.

Two police officers testified, over the objection and exception of plaintiff in error, that an unidentified man "came into police headquarters and told them that defendant Bolt and a man named English were going to hold up the United Cigar Store at Seventh and F streets." Thereupon, according to their further testimony, they proceeded, between 10 and 11 o'clock on the night of August 11, 1923, to Seventh and F streets, where they located plaintiff in error and English, whom they followed to the park at Seventh street and Pennsylvania avenue. Plaintiff in error and English, after staying in the park for a time, went to Eighth and F streets (a car stop), where the officers arrested plaintiff in error and took from his pocket a revolver. There is no evidence that the revolver was loaded, or that either man had ammunition for it on his person.

Subsequent to the arrest and prior to the trial, a motion was made for the return of the revolver, upon the ground that the search and seizure were in violation of the constitutional rights of plaintiff in error. This motion was denied, as was a motion to suppress the revolver as evidence.

This constituted the government's case, and, his motion for a directed verdict being overruled, plaintiff in error took the stand in his own behalf and stated that English had owed him money and offered the revolver in payment; that thereupon they went to the home of English to get the revolver, after which they went to Eighth and F streets, and thence to the park at Seventh street and Pennsylvania avenue; that a man named Cunningham, at the New York Dancing Academy at Seventh and E streets, who also owed plaintiff in error, had promised payment after the dance closed; that witness and English therefore went to that place, but found no one there. They then walked up to Eighth and F streets, for the purpose of taking a car home, but were there arrested, taken to police headquarters, and locked up.

English testified that he had owed plaintiff in error $25 for a year, and that plaintiff in error frequently had asked him for the money; that, when payment again was requested upon this occasion, witness suggested giving the revolver for the debt. Other testimony given by this witness also tended to corroborate plaintiff in error. In addition to the testimony of plaintiff in error and English, there was testimony from a merchant and another witness as to the good character of the accused.

The court erred in permitting the two police officers to testify as to what was said to them by an unidentified informant, out of the presence of plaintiff in error. This was hearsay evidence and highly prejudicial. See Engle v. U. S., 48 App. D. C. 466, 475. The constitutional right of a citizen to be secure in his person and property is not to be invaded upon such a basis or showing. See Schencks v. U. S. (present term) ___ App. D. C. ___, 2 F.(2d) 185.

Plaintiff in error requested the court to charge the jury that, if they believed from the evidence that Bolt received the...

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11 cases
  • U.S. v. Hubbard
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • February 9, 1981
    ...States v. Farrell, 606 F.2d at 1347. Property unlawfully seized must on motion be promptly returned, see, e. g., Bolt v. United States, 2 F.2d 922, 923-924 (D.C.Cir.1924), unless it be contraband or statutorily forfeit, in which event it need not be returned at all. United States v. Farrell......
  • State v. Davis
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • February 17, 1932
    ...v. Bennett, 18 S.W.2d 52; State v. Dunivan, 269 S.W. 415; Best v. Commonwealth, 268 S.W. 1089; Miles v. State, 235 P. 260; Bolt v. United States, 2 F.2d 922; State v. Ridge, 275 S.W. 60; State Eklof, 11 S.W.2d 1033. (2) The court erred in overruling defendant's motion to quash the informati......
  • Smith v. United States, 7305.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • May 29, 1939
    ...v. United States, 6 Cir., 259 F. 93, such evidence was held to be hearsay and inadmissible. And we said as much in Bolt v. United States, 55 App. D.C. 120, 2 F.2d 922. The rule seems to be that, while an officer may testify before a jury that, acting upon information, he did certain things,......
  • George v. United States, 8037.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • February 9, 1942
    ...Smith v. United States, 1939, 70 App.D.C. 255, 105 F.2d 778; Mattson v. United States, 8 Cir., 1925, 7 F.2d 427; Bolt v. United States, 1924, 55 App.D.C. 120, 2 F.2d 922; Biandi v. United States, 6 Cir., 1919, 259 F. 93. But the admission of such testimony does not always necessitate revers......
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