Cook v. State, No. 55506

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Writing for the CourtBIRDSONG; BELL, C. J., and SHULMAN
Citation146 Ga.App. 353,246 S.E.2d 347
Docket NumberNo. 55506
Decision Date22 June 1978
PartiesCOOK v. The STATE.

Page 347

246 S.E.2d 347
146 Ga.App. 353

No. 55506.
Court of Appeals of Georgia.
Submitted Feb. 28, 1978.
Decided April 28, 1978.
Rehearing Denied June 22, 1978.

Page 348

[146 Ga.App. 355] Alfred D. Fears, Jackson, Floyd M. Buford, Macon, for appellant.

E. Byron Smith, Dist. Atty., for appellee.

[146 Ga.App. 353] BIRDSONG, Judge.

Cook brings this appeal from her conviction for first degree arson. She enumerates several alleged errors, only one of which, however, is necessary for consideration. The issue is the sufficiency of the evidence to support the conviction. Held :

1. As pertinent, the evidence shows that Mrs. Cook had previously been married to Mr. Thompson, whose home was burned. Both Mrs. Cook and Mr. Thompson had remarried. On the day of the fire, Mr. Thompson, his present wife, and a 20-year-old son had all left the house by 7:45 a. m. During the day a smoldering fire started in the bed located in the bedroom of the Thompson home. The fire was limited to that room and the entire contents of the room were destroyed or damaged beyond further use. There was evidence that the bed was covered with an electric blanket, but expert evidence was offered that the fire did not appear to be electrical in source. There was an opinion that clothing might have been piled in the middle of the bed and started by use of a match; however, no affirmative support was offered for such an opinion. The only other evidence concerning the house was that the son's possessions had been removed from the house and piled on the ground in open view but some distance from the house. There was no evidence offered that anyone had been seen in the vicinity of the house at any time during the day of the fire, or that Mrs. Cook had been at or near the home at any time immediately preceding the fire.

Mrs. Cook offered unrebutted evidence of alibi. She presented evidence that the 20-year-old son had threatened to burn the house. She also offered evidence that this son had prevailed upon her to purchase $32,500 fire insurance policy upon the house, that she had in fact purchased the policy on behalf of the son six months prior to the fire, and had filed a claim in his behalf a few weeks [146 Ga.App. 354] after the fire. There were serious conflicts in her testimony as to this policy, e. g., the appearance of misrepresentation as to the date of Mrs. Cook's divorce, the beneficiary for whom the policy was purchased and other facts allowing an...

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5 cases
  • Bragg v. State, No. 70066
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • July 9, 1985
    ...latter may be proved by circumstantial evidence." Powell v. State, 171 Ga.App. 876(1), 321 S.E.2d 745 (1984). See also Cook v. State, 146 Ga.App. 353, 354, 246 S.E.2d 347 Every fire is presumed to be accidental or providential. The burden is on the state to prove that the fire was of an inc......
  • Andrews v. State, 60206
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 18, 1981
    ...Smith v. State, 122 Ga.App. 882, 179 S.E.2d 261 (1970); Whitten v. State, 143 Ga.App. 768, 240 S.E.2d 107 (1977). But see Cook v. State, 146 Ga.App. 353, 246 S.E.2d 347 Applying the principles set forth above to the instant case, the most that the evidence establishes is that appellant was ......
  • Collins v. State, s. A91A0957
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • December 4, 1991 was the cause of the burning; and, third, that the defendant [202 Ga.App. 296] was the criminal agency. [Cit.]" Cook v. State, 146 Ga.App. 353, 354(1), 246 S.E.2d 347 (1978). See also Parker v. State, 181 Ga.App. 590(1), 353 S.E.2d 83 (1987). The evidence that the fire in the present......
  • Cline v. Kehs, 55416
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • June 22, 1978
    ...Rehearing Denied June 22, 1978. Page 330 [146 Ga.App. 352] Simmons, Warren & Szczecko, Joseph Szczecko, P. A., Decatur, for appellant. [146 Ga.App. 353] Savell, Williams, Cox & Angel, Edward L. Savell, Andrew Robert Greene, Atlanta, for [146 Ga.App. 350] BIRDSONG, Judge. Plaintiff brought t......
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