Coshatt v. State, 6 Div. 700

Decision Date12 January 1954
Docket Number6 Div. 700
Citation37 Ala.App. 422,69 So.2d 877
CourtAlabama Court of Appeals

Geo. E. Trawick, Birmingham, for appellant.

Si Garrett, Atty. Gen., and Arthur Joe Grant, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.


This appellant has been convicted of illegal possession of narcotic drugs.

The indictment under which he was tried, omitting the formal parts, charged that 'before the finding of this indictment Thomas Coshatt--did possess, sell, furnish, or give away cocaine, opium, morphine, heroin, or isonipecaine contrary to the provisions of Chapter 8 of Title 22 of the Code of Alabama as last amended, against the peace and dignity of the State of Alabama.'

Section 255 of Title 22, Chapter 8, Code of Alabama 1940, makes unlawful the possession of narcotic drugs unless possessed under the provisions of said Chapter 8.

A demurrer supported by numerous grounds, was filed to the indictment, and by the court overruled.

The offense was clearly, directly, and expressly alleged in the indictment and fairly apprised the defendant of the offense with which he was charged. The demurrer was therefore properly overruled.

The evidence presented by the State tends to show that on October 10, 1952 Mr. J. W. Jones, a detective for the City of Birmingham, went to the Swap Shop in Dolomite, a community in the Bessemer Division of Jefferson County.

Mr. Jones was introduced to this appellant by the operator of the Swap Shop, and after the introduction the appellant asked Jones what he wanted to see him about, to which Jones replied that he wanted to see about a package.

The appellant then told Jones he had the 'stuff' with him and produced a cardboard box containing a rather large number of bottles.

After examining each bottle Jones asked the appellant what he wanted for them and appellant stated he would take $1,500. Jones protested that this price was too high and after further conversation a price of $1,250 was agreed upon.

Jones then told the appellant he would have to go into Bessemer to get the money and the two then started to drive to Bessemer in an automobile taking the box of bottles with them. On this trip they were met by prearrangement by other police officers and the appellant was placed under arrest.

Other evidence introduced by the State tended to show that the bottles produced by the appellant contained various types of narcotic drugs which were derivatives or compounds of opium or morphine. It was also shown that these drugs were the same that were stolen from a drug store in Birmingham, the pharmacist in the drug store identifying the bottles by a cost mark she had written on each bottle label.

The pharmacist also testified as to the narcotic qualities of the drugs in the various bottles.

The evidence that the bottles of drugs were the same as those stolen from the drug store was properly received in evidence, even though it might tend to show the commission of an offense not charged in the indictment.

This evidence shed light on whether the appellant had lawfully acquired possession of the drugs within the provisions of our narcotic law, a material issue in this prosecution. It was therefore relevant and admissible in this aspect. Snead v. State, 243 Ala. 23, 8 So.2d 269.

The court in charging the jury instructed the jury in part as follows:

'You heard the evidence, and you saw the witnesses. There has been some suggestion of entrapment in this case; therefore it will be proper for me to comment on entrapment. It is the law of this state and of this government, that you can't entrap a man into committing a crime and then prosecute him for it. Now what is entrapment. It is an...

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8 cases
  • Gayden v. State, 3 Div. 722
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • May 12, 1955
    ...The Court of Appeals held Counts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 of the indictment good as against demurrer, following the case of Coshatt v. State, 37 Ala.App. 422, 69 So.2d 877, which is exactly in point, and other cases cited. The sufficiency of those counts is not now before The question presented to ......
  • Walker v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 18, 1978
    ...with drugs, legally controlled substances, particularly a well-known controlled substance, such as heroin. In Coshatt v. State, 37 Ala.App. 422, 69 So.2d 877 (1954) defendant was convicted of illegal possession of narcotic drugs. The evidence for the State tended to show that a detective we......
  • Cartlidge v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 5, 1974
    ...right to know the nature of the charge against an accused could not have been set forth in plainer language. Coshatt v. State, 37 Ala.App. 422, 69 So.2d 877; Shiflett v. State, 37 Ala.App. 300, 67 So.2d In the light of our holding as to the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the judgmen......
  • Gayden v. State, 3 Div. 970
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Appeals
    • August 31, 1954
    ...that, had that word been used, it must have been regarded as a mere expletive.' We reviewed the same question in the case of Coshatt v. State, Ala.App., 69 So.2d 877. We held that the indictment was sufficient although it did not contain the word See also, Porter v. State, 15 Ala.App. 218, ......
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