Crawford v. Coiner, No. 12755

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtHAYMOND
Citation163 S.E.2d 793,152 W.Va. 411
Decision Date29 October 1968
Docket NumberNo. 12755
PartiesCarlos CRAWFORD v. Ira M. COINER, Warden, West Virginia Penitentiary.

Page 793

163 S.E.2d 793
152 W.Va. 411
Carlos CRAWFORD
v.
Ira M. COINER, Warden, West Virginia Penitentiary.
No. 12755.
Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
Submitted Oct. 8, 1968.
Decided Oct. 29, 1968.

Page 794

Syllabus by the Court

1. 'The verdict of a jury in a criminal case should be read in connection with the indictment, and, if the meaning of the verdict is thus made certain, it is sufficiently definite.' Point 2, syllabus, State v. Arbruzino, 67 W.Va. 534, (68 S.E. 269).

2. A judge of any trial court has the power and the authority, and it is his duty, before discharging the jury, to correct any irregularity, eliminate any surplusage, or amend the form of a verdict of the jury upon the trial of any case, when such action is necessary or proper and does not change the substance, finding or effect of the verdict.

3. When it appears that the judge of a trial court, in the presence of the jury, amended a verdict originally returned by the jury in a criminal case, that the foreman of the jury then signed the amended verdict which was read to the jury by the clerk who inquired 'So say you all, Ladies and Gentlemen?', that the record, being silent, does not show that there was any affirmative response or any dissent by any

Page 795

member of the jury or any objection by any party to any of the foregoing proceedings, and that subsequently the judge imposed a sentence of imprisonment in the penitentiary by judgment entered upon the amended verdict, it will be presumed that the jury assented and agreed to theamended[152 W.Va. 412] verdict and such amended verdict will be considered to be and constitute the valid verdict of the jury in such case.

4. 'There is a presumption of regularity of court proceedings that remains until the contrary appears, and the burden is on the person who alleges such irregularity to show it affirmatively; and where an order of a court of record is merely silent upon any particular matter, it will be presumed, notwithstanding such silence, that such court performed its duty in every respect as required by law, with the exception of the fundamental constitutional right of assistance of counsel which is specifically provided for in both the State and Federal Constitutions.' Syllabus, State ex rel. Smith v. Boles, 150 W.Va. 1, (146 S.E.2d 585).

C. Donald Robertson, Atty. Gen., Leo Catsonis, James G. Anderson III, Charleston, for plaintiff in error.

Alfred E. Ferguson, Huntington, for defendant in error.

HAYMOND, Judge:

On this writ of error the defendant, Ira M. Coiner, Warden of the West Virginia Penitentiary, seeks reversal of a final judgment of the Circuit Court of Cabell County rendered October 13, 1967 which granted a writ of habeas corpus to the petitioner, Carlos Crawford, and discharged him from confinement in the penitentiary upon the ground that the sentence imposed upon him March 21, 1964 by the Common Pleas Court of Cabell County is void.

The original defendant was Otto C. Boles, Warden of the West Virginia Penitentiary, who is now deceased. After his death this proceeding was revived in the name of Ira M. Coiner, the present warden, and he is now the defendant in the place and stead of the former warden.

Under the provisions of Section 7, Article 6, Chapter 61, Code, 1931, commonly known as the Red Men's Act, which covers both a felony and a misdemeanor, the petitioner,[152 W.Va. 413] Carlos Crawford, and another person were jointly indicted for a felony in the Common Pleas Court of Cabell County at its January Term, 1964. The indictment charged that the defendants did unlawfully and feloniously combine and conspire together for the purpose of inflicting punishment and bodily injury upon Wyatt Grimmett and in pursuance of such unlawful combination and conspiracy did inflict punishment and bodily injury upon Wyatt Grimmett, and on March 2, 1964, the petitioner pleaded not guilty to the indictment.

Upon the trial of the case the jury, having been instructed that it could find the accused guilty as charged of conspiracy, or guilty of assault and battery, or not guilty, returned on March 3, 1964, a verdict signed by Amy Lee Steiner, its foreman, which found the accused, 'Carlos Crawford guilty as charged of conspiracy.' The verdict was immediately amended by the trial judge to read: 'We, the jury agree and find the defendant, Carlos Crawford, guilty of conspiring and combining to inflict bodily injury and inflicted bodily injury upon Wyatt Grimmett, as charged in the within indictment.' The amended verdict was signed by Amy Lee Steiner, Foreman, and was read by the clerk to the jury. The clerk inquired of the jury: 'So say you all, Ladies and Gentlemen?' The record is silent and does not indicate any answer by any member of the jury to the foregoing question propounded by the clerk. The record does not show any dissent from or any objection to the action of the court in amending the verdict, and on March 21, 1964 the court, after overruling a motion to set aside the verdict and grant the...

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5 practice notes
  • State v. Davis, No. 16433
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 25, 1986
    ...363, 81 S.E.2d 678 (1954); Syl. pt. 12, State v. Painter, 135 W.Va. 106, 63 S.E.2d 86 (1951). 19 See also Syl. pt. 1, Crawford v. Coiner, 152 W.Va. 411, 163 S.E.2d 793 (1968); Syl. pt. 2, State v. Runnion, 122 W.Va. 134, 7 S.E.2d 648 (1940); State v. Frey, 92 W.Va. 323, 326, 114 S.E. 681, 6......
  • Ford v. Coiner, No. 13086
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 19, 1972
    ...and that instructions and evidence adduced are not matters permitted to be construed to correct a jury verdict. See, Crawford v. Coiner, 152 W.Va. 411, 414, 163 S.E.2d 793 (1968); McComas v. Warth, 113 W.Va. 163, 167 S.E. 96 The case of State v. Frey, 92 W.Va. 323, 326, 114 S.E. 681, 682 (1......
  • State v. Ray, No. 14929
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 16, 1982
    ...be considered in an appellate court to set aside the judgment of the trial court in fixing punishment." See also Crawford v. Coiner, 152 W.Va. 411, 163 S.E.2d 793 (1968); State v. Hayes, 136 W.Va. 199, 67 S.E.2d 9 (1951); State v. McCoy, 95 W.Va. 274, 120 S.E. 597 [171 W.Va. 389] Finally, t......
  • Toler v. Hager, No. 25477.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 14, 1999
    ...action is necessary or proper and does not change the substance, finding or effect of the verdict. Syllabus Point 2, Crawford v. Coiner, 152 W.Va. 411, 163 S.E.2d 793 (1968). By way of example, we will discuss several cases where the trial court properly instructed the jury to return to the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • State v. Davis, No. 16433
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • March 25, 1986
    ...363, 81 S.E.2d 678 (1954); Syl. pt. 12, State v. Painter, 135 W.Va. 106, 63 S.E.2d 86 (1951). 19 See also Syl. pt. 1, Crawford v. Coiner, 152 W.Va. 411, 163 S.E.2d 793 (1968); Syl. pt. 2, State v. Runnion, 122 W.Va. 134, 7 S.E.2d 648 (1940); State v. Frey, 92 W.Va. 323, 326, 114 S.E. 681, 6......
  • Ford v. Coiner, No. 13086
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 19, 1972
    ...and that instructions and evidence adduced are not matters permitted to be construed to correct a jury verdict. See, Crawford v. Coiner, 152 W.Va. 411, 414, 163 S.E.2d 793 (1968); McComas v. Warth, 113 W.Va. 163, 167 S.E. 96 The case of State v. Frey, 92 W.Va. 323, 326, 114 S.E. 681, 682 (1......
  • State v. Ray, No. 14929
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 16, 1982
    ...be considered in an appellate court to set aside the judgment of the trial court in fixing punishment." See also Crawford v. Coiner, 152 W.Va. 411, 163 S.E.2d 793 (1968); State v. Hayes, 136 W.Va. 199, 67 S.E.2d 9 (1951); State v. McCoy, 95 W.Va. 274, 120 S.E. 597 [171 W.Va. 389] Finally, t......
  • Toler v. Hager, No. 25477.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 14, 1999
    ...action is necessary or proper and does not change the substance, finding or effect of the verdict. Syllabus Point 2, Crawford v. Coiner, 152 W.Va. 411, 163 S.E.2d 793 (1968). By way of example, we will discuss several cases where the trial court properly instructed the jury to return to the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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