Bryant v. State, 6 Div. 339

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtTYSON; DeCARLO
Citation272 So.2d 286,49 Ala.App. 359
PartiesWayland Earl BRYANT and Ronald Elliott Williams v. STATE.
Decision Date21 November 1972
Docket Number6 Div. 339

Page 286

272 So.2d 286
49 Ala.App. 359
Wayland Earl BRYANT and Ronald Elliott Williams
v.
STATE.
6 Div. 339.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.
Nov. 21, 1972.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 12, 1972.

[49 Ala.App. 361]

Page 288

Drake, Knowles & Still, University, for appellants.

[49 Ala.App. 362] William J. Baxley, Atty. Gen., and Joseph G. L. Marston, III, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.

[49 Ala.App. 363] TYSON, Judge.

The indictment against Wayland Earl Bryant charged him with the felonious assault with a shotgun on David Wayne Orange, a deputy sheriff of Jefferson County, Alabama; and the indictment against Ronald Elliott Williams charged him with the felonious assault with a rifle on Royce Johnson, a deputy sheriff of Jefferson County, Alabama, each of said deputy sheriffs being in the performance of their lawful duties.

The two appellants were tried together by agreement between defense counsel, each of the appellants, and the District Attorney's office with separate verdicts being rendered by the Jury as to each appellant. Each appellant was found guilty of assaulting the respective officers as set forth in the indictments, and judgment fixed sentence at five years imprisonment in the penitentiary for each appellant.

The State of Alabama presented the testimony of four deputy sheriffs who told of going to a residence located at 222 Jefferson Boulevard, Tarrant City, Jefferson County, Alabama, the residence of one Mrs. Bernice Turner, at approximately 11:45 on the morning of September 15,

Page 289

1970, to effect an eviction of these premises, prior notice having been served by the Sheriff's office. According to Deputy Sheriff Major David Wayne Orange, information had been received by Deputy Sheriff Sergeant C. C. Gillespie, Birmingham City Detective Sergeant Marcus Jones, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Sizemore of the Birmingham, Alabama office that members of the Alabama Liberation Front or Black Panthers were planning an ambush at the premises in question. This information was communicated to the various Sheriff's deputies who were to participate by a meeting held at about 8:00 on the morning of September 15, 1970, at the office of Jefferson County Sheriff Melvin Bailey.

At trial the trial judge directed that the affidavits given to Sheriff Melvin Bailey by each officer participating in the investigation be turned over to defense counsel for use in cross-examination of these officers, and such affidavits were subsequently offered in evidence. Deputy Sheriff Major David Wayne Orange's affidavit reads as follows:

'MELVIN BAILEY

SHERIFF, JEFFERSON COUNTY

JEFFERSON COUNTY COURT HOUSE

BESSEMER DIVISION,

BESSEMER, ALABAMA, 35020

September 18, 1970

'Monday night, September 14, 1970, at about 9:00 P.M., I talked with Sergeant C. C. Gillespie who informed me that he had information that the Black Panther Party was planning to ambush two officers who were going to execute a court order of eviction at 222 Jefferson Boulevard, Tarrant City. I immediately called Sheriff Bailey and informed him of these plans by the Black Panther Party. It was decided that we would make plans for our action the following morning.

'Shortly thereafter I received a call from Detective Sergeant Marcus Jones, who is with the Police Department with the City of Birmingham. He, in substance, gave me the same information [49 Ala.App. 364] that I had received a few minutes earlier from Sergeant Gillespie. The following morning it was decided that we would proceed with the court order, and plans were made to take enough men to insure the successful execution of this court order.

'During the morning of September 15, 1970, I received further information from Sergeant Jones that the Black Panther's had four or five men inside the house at 222 Jefferson Boulevard, Tarrant City, waiting for our two officers to appear. I, along with about 15 other officers, arrived at this address at about 11:50 A.M., September 15, 1970. We were armed with tear gas guns, shotguns, and rifles along with our regular side arms. At about 11:55 A.M., Deputy Monteith approached the front door of 222 Jefferson Boulevard, Tarrant City, and knocked on the door several times. He waited a few seconds and knocked several times again. There was no sound from within the house in answer to these knocks on the door. Deputy Monteith called out in a loud voice to the people inside the house stating who he was and what his business there was. No answer came from the house.

'I walked over to the sidewalk in front of the house and told Captain J. C. Williams that I was going to kick the door open. Captain Williams and I approached the house from the southwest corner, and I kicked the door twice. The second time the door swung into the house, and I immediately saw standing in the second room Wayland Bryant, who was armed with a shotgun. At this time I heard one of the officers to my left and behind me shout a warning to the other deputies, 'Look out! He has a gun.' Almost in this same instant Captain

Page 290

Williams and I ordered Wayland Bryant to drop the shotgun he was holding. In response to this command, Wayland Bryant swung his gun to bear upon Captain Williams and myself. At this same instant, the Sheriff's Department fired a tear gas shell into the house, and Captain Williams and I backed away from the door under the cover of firing from our officers. At this point, Captain Williams fell down in front of the door and was exposed to the house for five seconds or more. More tear gas was fired into the house; and after several shots had been fired, people appeared at the front door shouting they were coming out. We ordered these people to lay down on their stomachs with their hands outstretched and to crawl to the middle of the street. This order was obeyed, and four men and one woman crawled out into the middle of the street.

'Within a few seconds, officers wearing gas masks went into the house to see if anyone was still inside. There was no one inside the house at this time.

'The five people who came out of the house and who were arrested were Wayland Earl Bryant, black male, age 42, from whom I took a Black Panther button off the front of his shirt; Ronald Williams, black male, age 24, who was wounded in the left side of his jaw or neck; Harold Robertson, black male, age 27; Robert Jakes, black male, age 22, and Brenda Joyce Griffin, black female, age 19.

'An ambulance was called, and Ronald Williams and either Harold Robertson or Robert Jakes were sent to the hospital. The remaining three were put into patrol cars and sent to the Jefferson County Jail.

'/s/ David Orange

Major David Orange

Assistant to the Sheriff'

The affidavit of Deputy Sheriff James L. Monteith, which was also placed in evidence, reads as follows:

'9--17--70.

'Subject: Eviction of Bernice Turner, 222 Jefferson Blvd., Tarrant, Alabama.

'On Tuesday the 15th of September, 1970, at approximately 11:45 A.M., Deputy[49 Ala.App. 365] Fikes and myself arrived at 222 Jefferson Boulevard to carry out a Circuit Court order to evict Bernice Turner from these premises, we had had previous information that it was a trap set up for us. When we arrived I went to the right hand side of the front door and Deputy Fikes took a position to the left of the house. I knocked loudly and got no response, I knocked again and still no one came to the door, I could hear a radio playing inside and also someone moving about. Capt. Williams told me to knock again and identify myself--I knocked again and told them that this was the

Sheriff's Department and that I had an eviction writ. I knocked a fourth time and announced who I was. At this time Major Orange stepped beside me and kicked the front door open, he and Capt. Williams shouted that they, the occupants, have guns. Capt. Williams, Major Orange and myself retreated to cover of the patrol car parked on the street. Major Orange told the occupants to come out and when they refused, tear gas was order fired into the house--Then there was some shooting, shortly 4 black males and 1 black female came out of the house. Major Orange told them to lie down in the street next to the patrol cars.

'Capt. Williams and Lt. Rauch checked out the house and said it was clear. After the tear gas subsided I proceeded to evict the premises. At 12:15 P.M., Bernice Turner came on the scene and wanted to know what was happening. She was told that she was being evicted. When the furniture was taken from the house I took the men who were working for me and left.

'/s/ James L. Monteith

Deputy'

Page 291

Additionally, Deputy Royce Johnson testified that he was present on the date and place in question, as part of his duties, and observed Deputies Monteith and Fikes First go to the door and knock two or three times and announce in a loud voice as to who they were. When there was no answer, Major Orange and Captain Williams then knocked two or three times and again announced who they were, and upon failure to have anyone answer the door, Major Orange kicked the door in. He heard someone exclaim, 'They have got guns,' and he retreated to the street behind patrol cars. Some shots were exchanged, and he testified that he saw the appellant Ronald Williams at a window leaning out with a rifle in his hand, at which time he fired his tear gas gun into the window. He testified that Williams pointed the rifle at him (Johnson) before firing his tear gas gun. He further testified he heard Deputy Sheriff Zito yell, 'There is someone at the window,' before firing. Deputy Sheriff Johnson testified that he was not wounded or harmed, and shortly after firing the tear gas gun, two appellants and their companions crawled out of the premises and surrendered to the officers. At the close of the State's evidence the appellants moved to exclude same on the basis that the State had failed to prove an assault and had failed to make out a prima facie case. This was overruled by the trial judge. The thrust or...

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34 practice notes
  • Hill v. State, 8 Div. 947
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 18, 1978
    ...of the relevancy or lack of relevancy of particular evidence rests largely in the sound discretion of the trial judge. Bryant v. State,49 Ala.App. 359, 272 So.2d 286 (1972), cert. denied 289 Ala. 740, 272 So.2d 297 (1973), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 922, 93 S.Ct. 2744, 37 L.Ed.2d 149 (1973). It......
  • Duncan v. State, 8 Div. 515
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 29, 1983
    ...of the relevancy or lack of relevancy of particular evidence rests largely in the sound discretion of the trial judge. Bryant v. State, 49 Ala.App. 359, 272 So.2d 286 (1972), cert. denied, 289 Ala. 740, 272 So.2d 297 (1973), Page 902 cert. denied, 412 U.S. 922, 93 S.Ct. 2744, 37 L.Ed.2d 149......
  • Brantley v. State, 4 Div. 277
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • June 28, 1974
    ...Butler v. State, 285 Ala. 387, 232 So.2d 631; White et al. v. State, 48 Ala.App. 111, 262 So.2d 313; Bryant and Williams v. State, 49 Ala.App. 359, 272 So.2d 286; Jackson v. Morrow, 404 F.2d The trial court properly excused the jurors, who had served on the companion case involving the appe......
  • Chambliss v. State, 6 Div. 689
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • May 22, 1979
    ..." 'Relevancy has a broad scope in criminal trials.' " Strickland v. State, Ala.Cr.App., 348 So.2d 1105; Bryant v. State, 49 Ala.App. 359, 272 So.2d 286. The testimony of Captain Berry clearly meets the requirements of There was no error in allowing the State to elicit testimony re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • Hill v. State, 8 Div. 947
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 18, 1978
    ...of the relevancy or lack of relevancy of particular evidence rests largely in the sound discretion of the trial judge. Bryant v. State,49 Ala.App. 359, 272 So.2d 286 (1972), cert. denied 289 Ala. 740, 272 So.2d 297 (1973), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 922, 93 S.Ct. 2744, 37 L.Ed.2d 149 (1973). It......
  • Duncan v. State, 8 Div. 515
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 29, 1983
    ...of the relevancy or lack of relevancy of particular evidence rests largely in the sound discretion of the trial judge. Bryant v. State, 49 Ala.App. 359, 272 So.2d 286 (1972), cert. denied, 289 Ala. 740, 272 So.2d 297 (1973), Page 902 cert. denied, 412 U.S. 922, 93 S.Ct. 2744, 37 L.Ed.2d 149......
  • Brantley v. State, 4 Div. 277
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • June 28, 1974
    ...Butler v. State, 285 Ala. 387, 232 So.2d 631; White et al. v. State, 48 Ala.App. 111, 262 So.2d 313; Bryant and Williams v. State, 49 Ala.App. 359, 272 So.2d 286; Jackson v. Morrow, 404 F.2d The trial court properly excused the jurors, who had served on the companion case involving the appe......
  • Chambliss v. State, 6 Div. 689
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • May 22, 1979
    ..." 'Relevancy has a broad scope in criminal trials.' " Strickland v. State, Ala.Cr.App., 348 So.2d 1105; Bryant v. State, 49 Ala.App. 359, 272 So.2d 286. The testimony of Captain Berry clearly meets the requirements of There was no error in allowing the State to elicit testimony re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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