Breeding v. State, No. 251

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtBefore BRUNE; HENDERSON
Citation151 A.2d 743,220 Md. 193
PartiesClayton Edward BREEDING v. STATE of Maryland.
Decision Date08 June 1959
Docket NumberNo. 251

Page 193

220 Md. 193
151 A.2d 743
Clayton Edward BREEDING
v.
STATE of Maryland.
No. 251.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
June 8, 1959.

Page 195

[151 A.2d 744] Marvin H. Smith, Denton, for appellant.

Stedman Prescott, Jr., Deputy Atty. Gen. (C. Ferdinand Sybert, Atty. Gen., and James Owen Knotts, State's Atty. for Caroline County, Denton, on the brief), for appellee.

Page 194

Before BRUNE, C. J., and HENDERSON, HAMMOND, and PRESCOTT, JJ.

HENDERSON, Judge.

The appellant was indicted for the murder of Ruth Ellen Cannon on or about June 28, 1958. He was tried before three judges, sitting without a jury, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment. The chief question presented is whether the evidence supports the conviction.

Mrs. Cannon was last seen by her husband at about 12:35 P.M. on Saturday, June 28, when he left home, after lunch, to return to work. When he came back about 5 P.M. she was missing. The slacks and blouse she had been wearing when he left were found folded on her bed. Two buttons had been torn from the blouse, and a torn brassiere was inside the blouse. He first assumed that she had gone to visit her family, or friends. He alerted the police about 1 A.M. of the following day.

Mrs. Cannon's body was found in a wooded area at about 3 P.M. on Monday, June 30. When found, the body was clad [151 A.2d 745] in blue shorts, white blouse and white shoes or sandals. The spot where the body was found was about 600 feet from a dirt road that runs parallel to State Route 404, at a point about 1 1/2 miles from the Delaware state line. A police officer testified that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to carry the body to the spot where it was found, because of the thickness of the underbrush. A medical examination fixed the probable time of death at from 9 A.M. Sunday morning to 9 A.M. Monday morning. The cause of death was strangulation by means of a strip of cloth torn from the victim's blouse, which remained around her neck and exactly fitted a groove around her neck. A shorter strip of the same cloth was found lying to the left of the body, which was face downward. There were also signs of violence, consisting of hemorrhages in the region of the left

Page 196

eye, and a fracture of the skull in the back of the head, which occurred not more than one-half hour before death, in the opinion of the medical examiner. These blows were sufficient to cause unconsciousness, but not death because the bleeding continued. The bare legs of the victim showed numerous scars and abrasions, probably due to brambles. She had a bruise on the inside of her thigh. It was the opinion of the medical examiner that she had not been raped, and he found no evidence of recent sexual intercourse. Some blueberries were found in her stomach, which had been eaten about 6 hours prior to death. She was four months pregnant.

Breeding, a young married man with several children, owned a two-toned 1953 Ford, colored pink and gray. He left his home about 7:30 A.M. Saturday morning. He went to the home of his cousin, a married woman, and tried to get her to go out with him, but she refused. He told her he 'wanted a woman, and was going to have one, or else.' He drove around, stopping at various taverns for beer, and at the homes of various girls, whom he tried to date. At one tavern he picked up a male companion, who rode with him but finally became hopelessly drunk and was left on the roadside. Breeding told this companion he wanted a woman, and made certain phone calls and one stop, without success. The stop was at the home of a Miss Hill, who testified that Breeding was sober, but the companion, Wissman, was so drunk as to be incoherent. This was about 2 P.M. Wissman testified he awakened between 4 and 6 P.M. lying alongside a side road, not far from the Cannon home. A passing motorist took him to Denton, where he was seen by a number of people attending the chicken festival there.

At about 3 P.M. Wayne Geisel, a milk truck driver, drove past the Cannon home and saw a pink and gray Ford parked there with its hood up and doors open. About 15 minutes later, when he drove by on his return, he saw the same car drive up the driveway and stop by the porch. When he looked again, he saw Mrs. Cannon entering the house, and a man whom he later identified as Breeding following her. About 4 P.M. Cloyd Geisel saw a pink and gray car back out of the Cannon drive. Mrs. Geisel also saw the car back out, and fixed the

Page 197

time as about 4 P.M. Mrs. Ellwanger also saw a car answering the same description go past her home, going in the direction of the Cannon home. Between 5 and 6 P.M. Mrs. Charlotte Smith and her daughter, Judy, aged 16, saw the car go past their home in Delaware, and identified it as Breeding's. They knew the car, and Breeding, from his prior visits to their filling...

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106 practice notes
  • White v. State, No. 912, Sept. Term, 2012.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 11, 2015
    ...has been established courts examine whether there is a ‘reasonable probability that no tampering occurred.’ ” (quoting Breeding v. State, 220 Md. 193, 199, 151 A.2d 743 (1959) )), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 134 S.Ct. 2723, 189 L.Ed.2d 762 (2014) ; Wagner v. State, 160 Md.App. 531, 552, 86......
  • Best v. State, No. 916
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1988
    ...a likelihood that the thing's condition has changed." See also Nixon v. State, 204 Md. 475, 105 A.2d 243 (1954); Breeding v. State, 220 Md. 193, 151 A.2d 743 (1959); Moore v. State, 73 Md.App. 36, 50-52, 533 A.2d 1 Under those principles, as they have developed at the common law generally a......
  • Bloodsworth v. State, No. 71
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1985
    ...evidence, as Bloodsworth points out, is almost entirely circumstantial, but, as Judge Henderson said for the Court in Breeding v. State, 220 Md. 193, 198, 151 A.2d 743, 746 (1959), "that is not a fatal objection." See also Veney v. State, 251 Md. 182, 201, 246 A.2d 568, 579 (1968). We think......
  • Urciolo v. State, No. 266
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • October 10, 1974
    ...punishable only when the offense is committed within its territory. Goodman v. State, 237 Md. 64, 205 A.2d 53 (1964); Breeding v. State, 220 Md. 193, 151 A.2d 743 (1959); Bowen v. State, Since upon the facts of this case there was no possession coupled with an intent to embezzle in Anne Aru......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
106 cases
  • White v. State, No. 912, Sept. Term, 2012.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 11, 2015
    ...has been established courts examine whether there is a ‘reasonable probability that no tampering occurred.’ ” (quoting Breeding v. State, 220 Md. 193, 199, 151 A.2d 743 (1959) )), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 134 S.Ct. 2723, 189 L.Ed.2d 762 (2014) ; Wagner v. State, 160 Md.App. 531, 552, 86......
  • Best v. State, No. 916
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1988
    ...a likelihood that the thing's condition has changed." See also Nixon v. State, 204 Md. 475, 105 A.2d 243 (1954); Breeding v. State, 220 Md. 193, 151 A.2d 743 (1959); Moore v. State, 73 Md.App. 36, 50-52, 533 A.2d 1 Under those principles, as they have developed at the common law genera......
  • Bloodsworth v. State, No. 71
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1985
    ...evidence, as Bloodsworth points out, is almost entirely circumstantial, but, as Judge Henderson said for the Court in Breeding v. State, 220 Md. 193, 198, 151 A.2d 743, 746 (1959), "that is not a fatal objection." See also Veney v. State, 251 Md. 182, 201, 246 A.2d 568, 579 (1968)......
  • Urciolo v. State, No. 266
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • October 10, 1974
    ...punishable only when the offense is committed within its territory. Goodman v. State, 237 Md. 64, 205 A.2d 53 (1964); Breeding v. State, 220 Md. 193, 151 A.2d 743 (1959); Bowen v. State, Since upon the facts of this case there was no possession coupled with an intent to embezzle in Anne Aru......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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