Chevallier v. State, No. 37480

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
Citation404 S.W.2d 36,86 S.Ct. 1933
Docket NumberNo. 37480
PartiesNelson CHEVALLIER, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas, Appellee.
Decision Date10 February 1965

Page 36

404 S.W.2d 36
Nelson CHEVALLIER, Appellant,
v.
The STATE of Texas, Appellee.
No. 37480.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas.
Feb. 10, 1965.
Rehearing Denied April 21, 1965.
Certiorari Denied June 20, 1966. See 86 S.Ct. 1933.

Will Gray, Houston, for appellant.

Frank Briscoe, Dist. Atty., Gus J. Zgourides and Daniel P. Ryan, Jr., Asst. Dist. Attys., Houston, and Leon B. Douglas, State's Atty., Austin, for the State.

OPINION

DICE, Commissioner.

The conviction is for murder; the punishment, death.

The indictment charged that the appellant 'did with malice aforethought kill Castina Nelson by pouring caustic soda, commonly known as lye, in her mouth and down her throat.'

The state's evidence shows that appellant and the deceased, Castina Nelson, though not legally married, lived together as husband and wife.

During the early morning hours of January 21, 1964, the deceased came to the door of a neighbor's house in her nightgown and with blood oozing from her mouth. The deceased, being unable to talk and having the appearance of being burned about the face and mouth, was taken to a hospital in an ambulance and died some ten days later.

When examined at the hospital by Dr. V. F. Mersol, the deceased had burns over her face, scalp, and shoulder, burns in the mouth, tongue, and pharynx, and, in addition, a stab wound in the neck. The burns found on the body were described by the doctor as being 'compatible with someone taking caustic soda, lye, and pouring it into the mouth and down the throat of a person.'

An autopsy performed upon the body of the deceased by Dr. Robert Bucklin revealed that the cause of death of the deceased was pneumonia resulting from chemical burns to the tongue, mouth, throat, respiratory tract, gastro-intestinal tract, and lungs. It was shown by the testimony of Dr. Bucklin, also, that the burns to the mouth, lips, tongue, and respiratory tract of the deceased were 'compatible with burns left by some substance such as caustic soda,' also known as lye.

It was further shown that before the deceased was taken to the hospital, certain city officers came to the neighbor's house and then proceeded to the residence of appellant and the deceased. When they entered the house, the officers detected a strong odor of gas and discovered a gas hose pulled away from a connection in the living room and the gas turned on. Upon entering the back bedroom, the officers found it very much disarranged and the gas on in that room. Two other gas jets, one in the bathroom and the other in a front bedroom, were found open. In the bathroom the officers found blood, hair, and dirty clothes on the floor. There were also smears of blood on the bathtub and on the windowsill of a partially opened window. The officers also found in the bathroom a knife with blood stains on it and found a can on top of a shelf. A piece of electric wire which appeared to have been cut from an extension cord was found in a front bedroom.

While the officers were in the house the telephone rang and a person whose voice was identified as appellant's talked to one of the officers. In the conversation appellant stated: "I guess you all are looking for me. * * * I'm Nelson Chevallier," and when asked what happened appellant told the officers that he and his wife had a

Page 38

fight, that he slapped her and cut her with a knife. Appellant stated that the then turned on the gas, disconnected the hoses to the heaters and poured lye on his wife. In the conversation, appellant gave the officers the address where he could be located.

Subsequent to the conversation, appellant was taken into custody at the address given and, following his arrest and after being duly warned, made and signed a written statement in which he admitted committing the acts of violence upon his wife which caused her death.

In his confession appellant stated, in part, as follows:

'Tonight about 1:30 or twenty till two I Got up from the front bedroom, where I had been sleeping, and went to the kitchen and got me some water. After I got me a drink I went into Castinas bedroom on the way to the bathroom. Castena was asleep in the back bedroom. She started sleeping in the back bedroom since Sunday night. We had a argument Sunday because Castina brought up a woman that I used to go with in New Orleans. Since this she has been sleeping in the back bedroom and I have been sleeping in the front bedroom. After I went thru Castinas bedroom and into the bathroom I turned on the light in the bathroom and that woke Castina up. When she woke up she started in on me telling me that I could'nt sleep because I was thinking about Jesse, the woman that I used to go with in New Orleans. When she said this I picked up a piece of extention cord that was in the bathroom and went into her bedroom and hit her with it. I told her that she was always bringing that up and I told her that I had told her before that stuff like that is going to get you killed. Then me and her went to tussling. Then she promised me that she would'nt say that any more. Then I knocked her down in the bathroom door (sic) and she still had a hold of me. Then I grabbed my knife off of the shelf in the bathroom and stabbed her in the neck, I'm not sure how many times I stabbed her but I know that I stabbed her once for sure. Then I set down on the side of the bathtub and I saw that she was still bleeding and suffering and I told her I might as well go ahead and finish you off because I haven't ever had nothing but trouble out of you. I told her that she just wanted to use me. She did'nt answer me. Then I went to the kitchen and got some lye and made some lye water. I put two spoonfuls of lye into about a third of a glass of water and went back into the bathroom and poured it on her mouth. After this I went into the front bedroom and set on the bed and thought. After I thought for a few minutes I thought to myself 'Well by the time that they find you you'l be dead'. Then I got up and went into the living room and took the hose off of the heater and turned on the gas. Then I went to the backbedroom and turned on the gas jet. There is no heater in the backbed room so I did'nt have...

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16 practice notes
  • State v. Hamell, No. 37816
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • October 18, 1977
    ...197 P.2d 1 (1948); Commonwealth v. Roller, 100 Pa.Super. 125 (1930); Grant v. State, 171 So.2d 361 (Fla.1965), cert. den. 384 U.S. 1014 (,86 S.Ct. 1933, 16 L.Ed.2d 1035) (1966). In State v. Lindsey, the Missouri Supreme Court specifically addressed the issue of the emotional impact of a vid......
  • Cain v. State, No. 52217
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • March 9, 1977
    ...held that a charge on accident is inclusive of any question of intent to kill and a charge on intent to kill. See Chevallier v. State, 404 S.W.2d 36 (Tex.Cr.App.1965); Page 714 Cole v. State, 157 Tex.Cr.R. 469, 250 S.W.2d 201 (1952). Appellant also urges that the court erred in submitting a......
  • State v. Manning, No. 86-189
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 5, 1987
    ...Grant v. State, 171 So.2d 361, 363 n. 1 (Fla.1965) (quoting Denmark, 95 Fla. at 762, 116 So. at 759), cert. denied, 384 U.S. 1014, 86 S.Ct. 1933, 16 L.Ed.2d 1035 The trial court's finding that by their actions the officers exerted undue influence upon Manning to obtain a confession runs cou......
  • Coleman v. State, No. 61979
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • December 22, 1982
    ...rights were adequately protected by the instructions given. Cain v. State, 549 S.W.2d 707 (Tex.Cr.App.1977); Chevallier v. State, 404 S.W.2d 36 (Tex.Cr.App.1965); Cole v. State, 250 S.W.2d 201 (Tex.Cr.App.1952). The ground of error is The appellant contends that the trial court erred when i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • State v. Hamell, No. 37816
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • October 18, 1977
    ...197 P.2d 1 (1948); Commonwealth v. Roller, 100 Pa.Super. 125 (1930); Grant v. State, 171 So.2d 361 (Fla.1965), cert. den. 384 U.S. 1014 (,86 S.Ct. 1933, 16 L.Ed.2d 1035) (1966). In State v. Lindsey, the Missouri Supreme Court specifically addressed the issue of the emotional impact of a vid......
  • Cain v. State, No. 52217
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • March 9, 1977
    ...held that a charge on accident is inclusive of any question of intent to kill and a charge on intent to kill. See Chevallier v. State, 404 S.W.2d 36 (Tex.Cr.App.1965); Page 714 Cole v. State, 157 Tex.Cr.R. 469, 250 S.W.2d 201 (1952). Appellant also urges that the court erred in submitting a......
  • State v. Manning, No. 86-189
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 5, 1987
    ...Grant v. State, 171 So.2d 361, 363 n. 1 (Fla.1965) (quoting Denmark, 95 Fla. at 762, 116 So. at 759), cert. denied, 384 U.S. 1014, 86 S.Ct. 1933, 16 L.Ed.2d 1035 The trial court's finding that by their actions the officers exerted undue influence upon Manning to obtain a confession runs cou......
  • Coleman v. State, No. 61979
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • December 22, 1982
    ...rights were adequately protected by the instructions given. Cain v. State, 549 S.W.2d 707 (Tex.Cr.App.1977); Chevallier v. State, 404 S.W.2d 36 (Tex.Cr.App.1965); Cole v. State, 250 S.W.2d 201 (Tex.Cr.App.1952). The ground of error is The appellant contends that the trial court erred when i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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