Capps v. State, No. 371S60

Docket NºNo. 371S60
Citation258 Ind. 565, 282 N.E.2d 833
Case DateJune 02, 1972
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 833

282 N.E.2d 833
258 Ind. 565
Robert CAPPS, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 371S60.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
June 2, 1972.

[258 Ind. 566] William C. Erbecker, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Robert A. Smith, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee.

HUNTER, Justice.

This is an appeal by Robert Capps from a judgment in the Marion Criminal Court, Division One, convicting him of the crime of exerting unauthorized control over a vehicle in circumstances not amounting to theft. Appellant was indicted for the crime of Theft pursuant to IC 1971, 35--17--5--3, (Ind.Ann.Stat. § 10--3030 (1971 Supp.)), but was found guilty of the lesser included offense. Trial was to a jury, and upon conviction appellant was fined the sum of five hundred dollars ($500) and sentenced to the Indiana State Farm for a term of ninety (90) days.

The sole allegation of error properly preserved for review on appeal is that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the conviction.

Page 834

When reviewing for the sufficiency of the evidence, this Court will neither weigh the evidence nor determine the credibility[258 Ind. 567] of witnesses. Only that evidence most favorable to the State and all reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom will be considered on appeal. If there is substantial evidence of probative value sufficient to establish every material element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the verdict will not be disturbed. Valentine v. State (1971), Ind., 273 N.E.2d 543; Thomas v. State (1971), Ind., 268 N.E.2d 609; Tibbs v. State (1970), Ind., 263 N.E.2d 728.

The evidence most favorable to the State, as revealed by the record, is as follows: On February 27, 1969, the appellant was arrested at a service station at Tenth Street and Tibbs Avenue in Indianapolis. The activities at the service station had been under police surveillance as part of an extensive investigation of the interstate transfer of stolen suits. At the time of his arrest, appellant was driving a 1965 gold Cadillac. Upon request, appellant was unable to produce the title or the registration papers to the automobile. The license plates on the car were registered to a 1958 Ford Station Wagon. Appellant told the arresting officer that he had purchased the automobile, but that he could not remember any of the circumstances surrounding the purchase. The automobile was impounded, and within a few days, using the serial number on the engine, the police were able to identify the car as being one stolen from one Milton Pleva on September 1, 1967.

At trial, appellant testified that he had purchased the car from a man named John Weaver for $2500, paying $1100 down. Appellant also testified that the title was never delivered to him, but he insisted he signed the necessary papers at the time of the purchase. John Weaver was unable to corroborate any of this testimony because he had apparently been killed approximately two weeks after the alleged transaction.

Appellant concedes that he exerted control over the automobile which was owned by Pleva. He argues, however, that [258 Ind. 568] the evidence is insufficient to establish that he knew he had no valid authorization to exert such control. We do not agree.

It is well established law that knowledge or intent may be inferred from the facts and circumstances presented in each case. See, Miller v. State (1968), 250 Ind. 338, 236 N.E.2d 173; Dobson v. State (1959), 239 Ind. 673, 158 N.E.2d 455; Wertheimer v. State (1929), 201 Ind. 572, 169 N.E. 40. Where, as here, the State resorts to circumstantial evidence to prove an essential element of the crime, all reasonable hypotheses of innocence must be excluded. Miller v. State, supra; Hardesty v. State (1967), 249 Ind. 518, 231 N.E.2d 510. In the case at bar, appellant was arrested while in possession of a stolen automobile. At trial, he contended that he obtained possession as the result of what appeared to him to be a legitimate business transaction occurring nearly five months prior to his arrest. Appellant's contention amounts to nothing more than a mere denial of guilt. Appellant was unable to produce any evidence which would indicate that such a transaction did, in fact, occur. Even if we assume that appellant purchased the car from Weaver, his behavior subsequent to the transaction negates any inference that might be drawn which would tend to indicate that he thought the transaction was legitimate. It is neither reasonable nor logical to infer that a person would enter into a $2500 purchase without insisting upon some form of title. Especially is this true in the present case where absence of legal title and registration prohibited appellant from operating his vehicle in accordance with the licensing statutes of the State of Indiana. The more logical inference, and indeed, the only one probably drawn by the jury, was that appellant failed to attempt to procure legal title because he knew the car was stolen. Therefore, this Court is of the opinion

Page 835

that the evidence is sufficient to sustain the conviction.

Appellant's final contention is that the error occurred in...

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25 practice notes
  • Gaddie v. State, No. 2-278A41
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 7 Febrero 1980
    ...with our Supreme Court's most recent holdings on the subject, Miller v. State, supra, 236 N.E.2d 173. See also Capps v. State (1976) 258 Ind. 565, 282 N.E.2d 833, supra note 8; Cochran v. State (1970) 255 Ind. 374, 265 N.E.2d 19, supra note 8, notwithstanding that anomalous results are poss......
  • Bimbow v. State, No. 2--873A187
    • United States
    • 29 Agosto 1974
    ...of the evidence the trial court reasonably inferred Bimbow was capable of forming specific intent to kill. Capps v. State (1972), Ind., 282 N.E.2d 833; Asher v. State (1969), 253 Ind. 25, 244 N.E.2d ISSUE TWO. CONCLUSION--It is our opinion that there was sufficient evidence presented at the......
  • Williams v. State, No. 1278S281
    • United States
    • 2 Octubre 1979
    ...is a class A felony." Knowledge or intent may be inferred from the facts and circumstances presented in each case. Capps v. State, (1972) 258 Ind. 565, 282 N.E.2d "Intent . . . may be inferred from the deliberate use of a deadly weapon in a manner calculated to cause death." Vaughn v. State......
  • Bennett v. State, No. 2--473A101
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 26 Diciembre 1973
    ...281 N.E.2d 98; Cooper v. State (1972), Ind., 284 N.E.2d 799; Johnson v. State (1972), Ind., 278 N.E.2d 577; Capps v. State (1972), Ind., 282 N.E.2d 833; Hardin v. State (1972), Ind.Ct.App., 287 N.E.2d 359; Barnes v. State (1971), 255 Ind. 674, 266 N.E.2d 617; Carson v. Associated Truck Line......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • Gaddie v. State, No. 2-278A41
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 7 Febrero 1980
    ...with our Supreme Court's most recent holdings on the subject, Miller v. State, supra, 236 N.E.2d 173. See also Capps v. State (1976) 258 Ind. 565, 282 N.E.2d 833, supra note 8; Cochran v. State (1970) 255 Ind. 374, 265 N.E.2d 19, supra note 8, notwithstanding that anomalous results are poss......
  • Bimbow v. State, No. 2--873A187
    • United States
    • 29 Agosto 1974
    ...of the evidence the trial court reasonably inferred Bimbow was capable of forming specific intent to kill. Capps v. State (1972), Ind., 282 N.E.2d 833; Asher v. State (1969), 253 Ind. 25, 244 N.E.2d ISSUE TWO. CONCLUSION--It is our opinion that there was sufficient evidence presented at the......
  • Williams v. State, No. 1278S281
    • United States
    • 2 Octubre 1979
    ...is a class A felony." Knowledge or intent may be inferred from the facts and circumstances presented in each case. Capps v. State, (1972) 258 Ind. 565, 282 N.E.2d "Intent . . . may be inferred from the deliberate use of a deadly weapon in a manner calculated to cause death." Vaughn v. State......
  • Bennett v. State, No. 2--473A101
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 26 Diciembre 1973
    ...281 N.E.2d 98; Cooper v. State (1972), Ind., 284 N.E.2d 799; Johnson v. State (1972), Ind., 278 N.E.2d 577; Capps v. State (1972), Ind., 282 N.E.2d 833; Hardin v. State (1972), Ind.Ct.App., 287 N.E.2d 359; Barnes v. State (1971), 255 Ind. 674, 266 N.E.2d 617; Carson v. Associated Truck Line......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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