Cooper v. State, No. 673S112

Docket NºNo. 673S112
Citation309 N.E.2d 807, 261 Ind. 659
Case DateApril 19, 1974
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 807

309 N.E.2d 807
261 Ind. 659
Larry COOPER, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 673S112.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
April 19, 1974.

[261 Ind. 660] Robert F. Craven, Craven & Milan, Indianapolis, James L. Goodwin, Lebanon, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Wesley T. Wilson, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

ARTERBURN, Chief Justice.

On February 17, 1972, one Larry D. Yeager was shot and killed. A Greenfield policeman, having been alerted by a telephone call from the Marion County Sheriff's office, drove to the appellant's home. As the policeman was stopping his car in front of appellant's house, the appellant came out the front door, motioned for the policemen to stop and said that he, the appellant, was in trouble. The officer asked what kind of trouble and the appellant replied 'take me to jail I shot a guy.' Appellant was then taken to a police station

Page 808

where he made and signed a confession. The appellant was indicted, tried by jury and convicted of First [261 Ind. 661] Degree Murder. He was sentenced to the state prison for life. He appeals.

The first issue appellant presents for review is that the evidence was insufficient to warrant a conviction. Specifically, appellant alleges that the necessary element of premeditation was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. When reviewing a claim of insufficient evidence, this Court looks only at the evidence most favorable to the appellee. We do not weigh the evidence nor resolve questions of credibility. Buise v. State, (1972) Ind., 281 N.E.2d 93; Davis v. State, (1971) Ind., 271 N.E.2d 893; Grimm v. State, (1970) 254 Ind. 150, 258 N.E.2d 407. The jury heard testimony that Cooper, who testified that he habitually carried a gun, had gone to a construction site where he had recently been employed. On the site Cooper met the decedent, his former employer, and a private conversation between these two men ended when Cooper drew a gun and shot Yeager several times, continuing to shoot after Yeager had fallen to the ground. Cooper claims self-defense, saying that Yeager threatened him with a claw-hammer. Two witnesses testified that they did not at the time of the shooting see a hammer in Yeager's possession. A third witness said he had borrowed Yeager's hammer and had not yet returned it at the time of the shooting.

The appellant's attorney in his brief makes the following statements:

'The uncontroverted evidence of Cooper was that he had gone to the construction site for the purpose of obtaining a pay check. (Tr. p. 375) That the victim Yeager became angry and attacked him with a claw hammer, placing him in fear of bodily harm and injury to his person. (Tr. p. 378) The further uncontroverted evidence is that he had fired in self defense.'

'In the case at bar, the uncontroverted evidence of the Defendant Cooper was that he was attacked by the decedent without warning when the decedent advanced upon him with a straight claw hammer raised with the claws facing the Defendant Cooper. (Tr. p. 391)' (our emphasis)

[261 Ind. 662] We realize that a lawyer should zealously plead his client's case. But surely no one who has read the transcript of the evidence in this case can, in good faith, say the evidence is 'uncontroverted' that the appellant fired in self-defense. DR7--102(A)(5) of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that: 'In this representation of a client, a lawyer shall not: knowingly make a false statement of law or fact.' The Court is entitled to a fair statement of the facts from attorneys on both sides, not an exaggerated, self-serving version of the facts or an omission of crucial facts. When the Court finds that it can not rely upon the statement of a lawyer, the lawyer has lost has effectiveness with the Court and has therefore, in fact, injured his client. We examined the transcript in this case and, as previously stated, since the evidence is conflicting we view only that evidence most favorable to the decision of the trial court. With the foregoing...

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31 practice notes
  • Rogers v. State, No. 1072S143
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 4, 1974
    ...State met its burden of showing that the defendant knowingly and intelligently volunteered the admissions. Cooper v. State (1974) Ind., 309 N.E.2d 807; Bauer v. State (1973), Ind.App., 300 N.E.2d 364; Lewis v. State (1972), Ind., 288 N.E.2d 138. Similarly, the admissions to the Gary police ......
  • Smith v. State, No. 2-878A264
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 21, 1980
    ...or whether it was given at all, we are bound by the trial court's resolution. See Hall, supra at 587, citing Cooper v. State (1974), 261 Ind. 659, 300 N.E.2d ISSUE TWO Did the court err in admitting the prior statement of Helen Watkins? PARTIES' CONTENTIONS Smith's position is that the cour......
  • Sharpe v. State, No. 3-675A129
    • United States
    • November 29, 1977
    ...of a confession when that ruling is based upon conflicting evidence. Timm v. State (1976), Ind., 356 N.E.2d 222; Cooper v. State (1974), 261 Ind. 659, 309 N.E.2d 807. In addition to the testimony about the circumstances surrounding Sharpe's confession, the trial judge viewed a video tape of......
  • Morris v. State, No. 1075S303
    • United States
    • July 7, 1977
    ...139 two left together. It is a well-established rule that any evidence which tends to prove a fact is relevant. Cooper v. State, (1974) 261 Ind. 659, 309 N.E.2d 807; McPhearson v. State, (1969) 253 Ind. 254, 253 N.E.2d 226; Anderson v. State, (1933) 205 Ind. 607, 186 N.E. 316. The testimony......
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31 cases
  • Rogers v. State, No. 1072S143
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 4, 1974
    ...State met its burden of showing that the defendant knowingly and intelligently volunteered the admissions. Cooper v. State (1974) Ind., 309 N.E.2d 807; Bauer v. State (1973), Ind.App., 300 N.E.2d 364; Lewis v. State (1972), Ind., 288 N.E.2d 138. Similarly, the admissions to the Gary police ......
  • Smith v. State, No. 2-878A264
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 21, 1980
    ...or whether it was given at all, we are bound by the trial court's resolution. See Hall, supra at 587, citing Cooper v. State (1974), 261 Ind. 659, 300 N.E.2d ISSUE TWO Did the court err in admitting the prior statement of Helen Watkins? PARTIES' CONTENTIONS Smith's position is that the cour......
  • Sharpe v. State, No. 3-675A129
    • United States
    • November 29, 1977
    ...of a confession when that ruling is based upon conflicting evidence. Timm v. State (1976), Ind., 356 N.E.2d 222; Cooper v. State (1974), 261 Ind. 659, 309 N.E.2d 807. In addition to the testimony about the circumstances surrounding Sharpe's confession, the trial judge viewed a video tape of......
  • Morris v. State, No. 1075S303
    • United States
    • July 7, 1977
    ...139 two left together. It is a well-established rule that any evidence which tends to prove a fact is relevant. Cooper v. State, (1974) 261 Ind. 659, 309 N.E.2d 807; McPhearson v. State, (1969) 253 Ind. 254, 253 N.E.2d 226; Anderson v. State, (1933) 205 Ind. 607, 186 N.E. 316. The testimony......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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