Davidson v. State, No. 25897.

Docket NºNo. 25897.
Citation187 N.E. 376, 205 Ind. 564
Case DateNovember 03, 1933
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

205 Ind. 564
187 N.E. 376

DAVIDSON
v.
STATE.

No. 25897.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

Nov. 3, 1933.


Appeal from Newton Circuit Court, George A. Williams, Judge.

Howard T. Davidson was convicted of bank robbery, and he appeals.

Affirmed.

[187 N.E. 377]


Hanley & Hanley, of Rensselaer, for appellant.

James M. Ogden, Atty. Gen., and Merl M. Wall, Deputy Atty. Gen., for the State.


HUGHES, Judge.

The appellant was charged with the crime of bank robbery; was tried by a jury and found guilty. The assignments of error are: (1) The court erred in overruling the appellant's motion in arrest of judgment. (2) The court erred in overruling appellant's motion for a new trial.

The first assignment of error is waived by the appellant, and he relies for a reversal of this cause upon specifications numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 35, and 37, in his motion for a new trial.

Specification No. 1 refers to the admission of State's Exhibits 2 to 7, inclusive, the same being interest coupons from bonds stolen from the State Bank of Rensselaer, Ind., on September 7, 1928. The appellant

[187 N.E. 378]

was arrested in Oklahoma City in February, 1929. In the hand bag of the defendant at the time of his arrest two envelopes were found which contained six interest coupons which had been taken from the Rensselaer bank. Exhibit 1 of the state was the envelope and Exhibits 2 to 7, inclusive, were the interest coupons. To the introduction of these exhibits the appellant objected. The objection was overruled. The theory of the objection to the admissibility of the exhibits was that the charge against the appellant charged him with confining and threatening to confine, kill, maim, and injure certain persons and putting such person in fear for the purpose of stealing property from said State Bank of Rensselaer, Ind.

The contention of the appellant cannot be sustained. The affidavit charged the appellant with the intent to commit larceny by stealing bonds, money, and other valuables, and by putting certain named persons in fear for the purpose of committing larceny. Some five months after the bank robbery, certain coupon interest notes were found in the possession of the appellant.

It has been repeatedly held by this court that when it is proved that property has been stolen, and the same property, recently after the larceny, is found in the exclusive possession of another, a presumption arises that the party in whose possession such property is found is the thief, in the absence of any showing that such possession was innocently acquired. Rosenberg v. State, 192 Ind. 485, 134 N. E. 856, 137 N. E. 53;Isenhour v. State, 157 Ind. 517, 62 N. E. 40, 87 Am. St. Rep. 228;Madden v. State, 148 Ind. 183, 47 N. E. 220;Campbell v. State, 150 Ind. 74, 49 N. E. 905;Johnson v. State, 148 Ind. 522, 47 N. E. 926;Mason v. State, 171 Ind. 78, 85 N. E. 776, 16 Ann. Cas. 1212.

In the case of Mason v. State, supra, the following instruction was approved: “That if the jury found from the evidence to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt that the money described in the indictment was stolen and that such stolen property was found in the exclusive possession of the defendant within a short time after the larceny was perpetrated, such possession imposes on the defendant the duty and burden of explaining his possession of such money; and if he has failed to satisfactorily account as to how he came by the stolen property, this would raise a presumption of fact that the defendant stole the money and this presumption may be strong enough to justify one in finding him guilty, if all the other material averments in the indictment have been proved to be true to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt.”

In the instant case five months elapsed from the time the bonds were stolen until they were found in the possession of the appellant. Does this fact prevent the evidence from being admissible? We do not think so. It is true that most of the cases use the expression “where the stolen property, recently or shortly after the larceny has been committed is found,” etc. If some time has elapsed between the time of the larceny and the finding of the stolen goods, this fact might affect the weight of the evidence but it should not affect its competency. The case of Commonwealth v. Montgomery, 52 Mass. (11 Metc.) 535, 45 Am. Dec. 227, is directly in point upon this proposition. In this case, four months had passed since the commission of the larceny and the finding of the property. In this case the court said: “The possession of a part of the stolen property at a period somewhat distant would be competent testimony to be submitted to the jury, and might, with other sufficient evidence, tend to satisfy them of the guilt of the party. But its weight and effect are very different from that of evidence of possession immediately after the larceny.” In the instant case, the evidence was proper to go to the jury.

It is next insisted that the court erred in admitting in evidence State's Exhibits 17 and 18, the same being newspaper clippings found in appellant's possession when he was arrested. In Exhibit 17 the article refers to bonds that were taken in a “daylight raid on the State Bank of Rensselaer, Iowa,” and in Exhibit 18 the article refers to bonds “taken from the Whitney Trust Company of Rensselaer and State Bank of Atlantic, Iowa.” It is true that the article referred to in the exhibits mentioned Rensselaer, Iowa, but the bonds found in the possession of the defendant belonged to the State Bank of Rensselaer, Ind., and if the defendant was guilty of holding up that bank (and the jury found him guilty), then the most natural thing for him to do would be to keep informed as to what newspapers and officers were doing and saying about the robbery of said bank, and while the newspaper stated that it was the State Bank of Rensselaer, Iowa, the defendant well knew that it meant Indiana. Taken in connection with the finding of the bonds, the newspaper clippings found with them were entitled to be introduced, at least as tending to show knowledge and a guilty conscience.

Any statement or conduct of a person indicating a consciousness of guilt, where at the time or thereafter he is charged with or suspected of the crime, is admissible as a circumstance against him on trial. Evidence of circumstances, which are part of a person's behavior subsequent to an event with which it is...

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18 practice notes
  • Hutcheson v. United States, No. 46
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 14, 1962
    ...could have been used against petitioner in the state trial as evidence of consciousness of guilt (see, e.g., Davidson v. State, 205 Ind. 564, 569, 187 N.E. 376, 378); a claim of the federal self- Page 608 incrimination privilege before that Committee could also have been so used, at least t......
  • Baker v. State, No. 29297
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 13, 1956
    ...at different conclusions from that reached by the trial jury, the verdict will not be set aside for that reason. Davidson v. State, 1933, 205 Ind. 564, 576, 187 N.E. 376. On the other hand if no reasonable man could find the evidence has proved an accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a......
  • Hashfield v. State, No. 30360
    • United States
    • October 6, 1965
    ...are a subject proper for the jury to consider. Oldham v. State (1946), 224 Ind. 150, 65 N.E.2d 414; Davidson v. State Page 436 (1933), 205 Ind. 564, 187 N.E. 376; Rivers v. United States (9th Cir. 1959), 270 F.2d 435, 438. [247 IND 106] Under point 5 of appellant's argument he assigns as er......
  • Woods v. State, No. 279S57
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 18, 1980
    ...at different conclusions from that reached by the trial jury, the verdict will not be set aside for that reason. Davidson v. State (1933), 205 Ind. 564, 576, 187 N.E. 376. On the other hand if no reasonable man could find the evidence has proved an accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Hutcheson v. United States, No. 46
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 14, 1962
    ...could have been used against petitioner in the state trial as evidence of consciousness of guilt (see, e.g., Davidson v. State, 205 Ind. 564, 569, 187 N.E. 376, 378); a claim of the federal self- Page 608 incrimination privilege before that Committee could also have been so used, at least t......
  • Baker v. State, No. 29297
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 13, 1956
    ...at different conclusions from that reached by the trial jury, the verdict will not be set aside for that reason. Davidson v. State, 1933, 205 Ind. 564, 576, 187 N.E. 376. On the other hand if no reasonable man could find the evidence has proved an accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a......
  • Hashfield v. State, No. 30360
    • United States
    • October 6, 1965
    ...are a subject proper for the jury to consider. Oldham v. State (1946), 224 Ind. 150, 65 N.E.2d 414; Davidson v. State Page 436 (1933), 205 Ind. 564, 187 N.E. 376; Rivers v. United States (9th Cir. 1959), 270 F.2d 435, 438. [247 IND 106] Under point 5 of appellant's argument he assigns as er......
  • Woods v. State, No. 279S57
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 18, 1980
    ...at different conclusions from that reached by the trial jury, the verdict will not be set aside for that reason. Davidson v. State (1933), 205 Ind. 564, 576, 187 N.E. 376. On the other hand if no reasonable man could find the evidence has proved an accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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