Copeland v. State, 2.

CourtSupreme Court of Tennessee
Citation285 S.W. 565,154 Tenn. 7
Docket Number2.
Decision Date13 July 1926

285 S.W. 565

154 Tenn. 7


No. 2.

Supreme Court of Tennessee.

July 13, 1926

Error to Circuit Court, Hardin County; N. R. Barham, Judge.

Damus Copeland was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and he brings error. Reversed and remanded.

E. W. Ross and J. H. Ballew, both of Savannah, for plaintiff in error.

Ferriss C. Bailey, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.


Plaintiff in error was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for causing the death of Robert Holland on the public highway at Saltillo, December 4, 1924, when he was struck and killed by an automobile driven by Copeland.

Through assignments of error it is insisted: (1) That the evidence preponderates against the verdict; and (2) that the trial judge committed prejudicial error in the charge to the jury.

From the record it appears that the little boy and some companions, while on their way from school, were walking close behind, or riding on the coupling pole of, a log wagon moving east toward the river. The log wagon was drawn by four mules driven by Will Fondren. It was loaded with logs, which obstructed view from the front; but, from his position on the saddle mule, Fondren saw Robert Holland as he ran from behind the wagon toward the south side of the road, immediately in front of Copeland's Ford car. Another wagon had just passed the log wagon moving west. It was occupied by three Bingham brothers. McKinley Bingham was driving, with his face to the team. His brothers were looking east, and saw the little boy run from behind Fondren's wagon into the road ahead of the automobile which was moving west and meeting Fondren's wagon. One of the Binghams holloed at the boy, but he did not hear or heed the warning, and the automobile struck and killed him.

Fondren says that Copeland could not have seen the boy until after he ran from behind the log wagon into the road, and that when the boy came to view Copeland's car was about even with the front wheels of his wagon. The Bingham wagon had just passed Fondren's wagon. After the wagons passed each other, Fondren says Copeland recklessly attempted to run between the rear of his wagon and the rear of Bingham's wagon.

Three witnesses for the state testified that according to their opinion Copeland was driving 30 or more miles an hour. Two others testified that from the sound of the engine he was running more than 20 miles an hour. Copeland insisted that he was running from 15 to 17 miles an hour. Fondren...

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14 cases
  • State v. Farner, 99-00491
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • December 11, 2001
    ...422, 429, 246 S.W.2d 70, 73 (Tenn. 1952); Letner v. State, 156 Tenn. 68, 75-76, 299 S. W. 1049, 1051 (1927); Copeland v. State, 154 Tenn. 7, 12, 285 S. W. 565, 566 (1926); Odeneal v. State, 128 Tenn. 60, 69, 157 S. W. 419, 420 (1913); State v. Richardson, 995 S.W.2d 119, 125 (Tenn. Crim. Ap......
  • State v. Ruane
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee. Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee
    • July 14, 1995
    ...705 (1986); State v. Randolph, 676 S.W.2d 943 (Tenn.1984); Letner v. State, 156 Tenn. 68, 299 S.W. 1049 (1927); Copeland v. State, 154 Tenn. 7, 285 S.W. 565 (1926); Odeneal v. State, 128 Tenn. 60, 157 S.W. 419 (1913). In Odeneal, our supreme court established the general rule on the issue o......
  • State v. Jones, E2002-00893-SC-R11-CD
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • November 23, 2004
    ...negligence, he is guilty of involuntary manslaughter."); see also State v. Johnson, 541 S.W.2d 417, 419 (Tenn.1976); Copeland v. State, 154 Tenn. 7, 285 S.W. 565, 566 In recognizing that "gross and culpable" negligence can render a defendant criminally liable, we have also long recognized t......
  • Branch v. State, No. W2003-03042-CCA-R3-PC (TN 12/21/2004), W2003-03042-CCA-R3-PC.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • December 21, 2004
    ...on that issue, and he did not cite the reported criminal cases of Letner v. State, 299 S.W. 1049 (Tenn. 1927); Copeland v. State, 285 S. W. 565 (Tenn. 1926); State v. Grose, 982 S.W.2d 349 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1997); or State v. Ruane, 912 S.W.2d 766 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1995). However, he did no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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