DeVaughn v. State, No. 22

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtBefore BRUNE; MARBURY; Carter
Citation232 Md. 447,194 A.2d 109
Docket NumberNo. 22
Decision Date10 October 1963
Parties, 100 A.L.R.2d 761 Edward Everett DeVAUGHN v. STATE of Maryland.

Page 447

232 Md. 447
194 A.2d 109, 100 A.L.R.2d 761
Edward Everett DeVAUGHN
v.
STATE of Maryland.
No. 22.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
Oct. 10, 1963.

Page 449

[194 A.2d 110] W. A. C. Hughes, Jr., Baltimore, for appellant.

Stuart H. Rome, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Thomas B. Finan, Atty. Gen., William J. O'Donnell, State's Atty., and Charles E. Moylan, Jr., Deputy State's Atty., Baltimore, on the brief), for appellee.

Before BRUNE, C. J., and HENDERSON, HAMMOND, PRESCOTT, HORNEY, MARBURY and SYBERT, JJ.

MARBURY, Judge.

The appellant, Edward Everett DeVaughn, was tried before Judge Carter, sitting without a jury, in the Criminal Court of Baltimore, on a charge of murder of Robert Crawford. After a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree without capital punishment, and a sentence of life imprisonment in the Maryland Penitentiary, he has taken this appeal.

Page 450

He has raised three questions which will be dealt with separately, although not in the order in which counsel presented them in the briefs and oral argument.

There is considerable conflict in the testimony, and since several of the disputed facts go to the essence of the legal questions raised, it is necessary to set forth in some detail the circumstances and events surrounding the shooting of the deceased by the appellant at 121 Welcome Alley, the home of Carrie Lee Crump, on January 20, 1962.

The house in which she lived was extremely small. The downstairs consisted of a parlor upon entering the front door, and behind that a kitchen, with a back door. DeVaughn paid the rent, supported Carrie Lee, and lived in a so called common-law relationship with her.

The deceased, Robert Crawford, also known as Robert C. Waring, lived at 537 South Hanover Street, with Ruth Hayes, Carrie Lee's sister, and Harry Johnson. Ruth and Johnson were also living in a like relationship.

On the morning of January 20 the appellant left 121 and proceeded to 113 Welcome Alley to cut wood for an aged aunt, who lived there. Ruth and Johnson, followed later by Crawford, went to Carrie Lee's house, where there was a transaction involving the resale of a record player by Ruth to Carrie Lee. Meanwhile, DeVaughn returned from his chore and soon, at the suggestion of one of the group, all but Carrie Lee sat down at the kitchen table to play a card game called 'pitty-pat', with a twenty-five cent ante. As they settled down, both DeVaughn and Crawford placed knives on the table, the latter commenting, 'There will be no cheating here.' The description of Crawford's knife varies with the witnesses. The length was variously estimated from two up to ten inches, and its character from that of a pen knife to a dirk

After the game had progressed for some time, Crawford placed a quarter on the table and excused himself to go to the bathroom upstairs, saying, 'I'll be right back. I don't want nobody to bother my hand.' Carrie Lee played his hand and [194 A.2d 111] won. Upon his return he demanded the money. Carrie Lee returned the quarter, but insisted that the winnings belonged to her,

Page 451

since she played the hand. Crawford became angry. While the State denied that Crawford threatened to harm Carrie Lee, the appellant claimed Crawford threatened to 'kick her teeth out.' Undisputed was Carrie Lee's assertion of selfprotection by announcing she would blind Crawford with a can of lye. (She was no novice at this, having on a prior occasion received a sentence of thirty days in jail for throwing lye.) At this juncture, appellant intervened to protect his mistress. Both principal actors in the drama, DeVaughn and Crawford, brandished knives. They were dissuaded from attacking each other by Ruth and, shortly thereafter, both men left the house, separately. On his way out the appellant told Carrie Lee, 'I am going home but I'll be back.'

After an intermission of approximately eighteen minutes, Crawford returned and rejoined the card game, taking a seat at that end of the kitchen table nearer the back door. The appellant returned in due course, through the front door, bringing along with him Thad Hayes, father of Carrie Lee and Ruth. Exactly what happened to revive the argument and tension between the men was disputed. According to Ruth Hayes, a witness for the State, Carrie Lee told DeVaughn that Crawford was 'smart' and further directed, 'You shoot him.', and she further maintained that Crawford stood still by the table near the refrigerator. Appellant stated unequivocally that Crawford resumed the argument and advanced on him with a knife. The distance between the men, separated by the table, was variously estimated by the witnesses as being between six and fifteen feet.

After a brief exchange of profanities, appellant drew a twenty-two caliber pistol and fired at Crawford. The bullet hit him in the abdomen. The shot had the effect of clearing the room of all witnesses, except Ruth. Appellant insisted that Crawford continued to advance with the open knife, while the State's witness, Ruth, insisted Crawford slumped to his knees, whereupon appellant walked around the kitchen table, which had separated the antagonists, and while standing over the crumpled, but conscious, Crawford, fired a second shot which lodged in his inner left calf. The knife was found by Ruth near the refrigerator where Crawford had been standing. Ruth and Johnson

Page 452

(the latter having returned to the scene), took Crawford to the South Baltimore General Hospital.

On the day after the shooting the appellant was located by cruising patrolmen in the vicinity of Hill and Sharp Streets. Upon seeing the police car, DeVaughn fled, throwing his revolver into a trash can. The officers apprehended him immediately thereafter. They also located the gun. It contained three unspent cartridges, but the empty shells of those the appellant had fired could not be found.

The scene now shifts to the hospital where Crawford had been admitted at 1:30 p. m., on January 20, 1962. He was bleeding profusely and an operation was immediately performed. The abdominal operation, an exploratory laparotomy (an incision into the abdominal cavity through the flank), disclosed two holes in the sigmoid colon and one in the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
36 practice notes
  • Banks v. State, No. 1368
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1991
    ...cert. denied, 393 U.S. 928, 89 S.Ct. 259, 21 L.Ed.2d 265 (1968); Abney v. State, 244 Md. 444, 448, 223 A.2d 792 (1966); DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 456-57, 194 [608 A.2d 1258] A.2d 109 (1963). Voluntary manslaughter is a killing that would otherwise be second degree murder, but for the ......
  • Tichnell v. State, Nos. 73
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • June 10, 1980
    ...demanded.' " Guerriero v. State, 213 Md. 545, 549, 132 A.2d 466, 467-468 (1957) (citations omitted). Accord, DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 453, 194 A.2d 109 (1963), cert. denied, 376 U.S. 927, 84 S.Ct. 693, 11 L.Ed.2d 623; Bruce v. State, 218 Md. 87, 96-97, 145 A.2d 428 (1958). As th......
  • Gainer v. State, No. 20
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • October 11, 1978
    ...had assaulted him with a pair of scissors). 2 See Bruce v. State, 218 Md. 87, 96-97, 145 A.2d 428 (1958). See also DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 453, 194 A.2d 109 (1963); Crawford v. State, 231 Md. 354, 190 A.2d 538 (1963); Gunther v. State, 228 Md. 404, 179 A.2d 880 (1962); Guerriero v. ......
  • Huffington v. State, Nos. 64
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1984
    ...the victim to accept medically recommended care, the perpetrator will not be excused from liability for the murder. See DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 194 A.2d 109 (1963), cert. denied, 376 U.S. 927, 84 S.Ct. 693, 11 L.Ed.2d 623 (1964). Nevertheless, in a capital punishment case there woul......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
36 cases
  • Banks v. State, No. 1368
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1991
    ...cert. denied, 393 U.S. 928, 89 S.Ct. 259, 21 L.Ed.2d 265 (1968); Abney v. State, 244 Md. 444, 448, 223 A.2d 792 (1966); DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 456-57, 194 [608 A.2d 1258] A.2d 109 (1963). Voluntary manslaughter is a killing that would otherwise be second degree murder, but for the ......
  • Tichnell v. State, Nos. 73
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • June 10, 1980
    ...demanded.' " Guerriero v. State, 213 Md. 545, 549, 132 A.2d 466, 467-468 (1957) (citations omitted). Accord, DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 453, 194 A.2d 109 (1963), cert. denied, 376 U.S. 927, 84 S.Ct. 693, 11 L.Ed.2d 623; Bruce v. State, 218 Md. 87, 96-97, 145 A.2d 428 (1958). As th......
  • Gainer v. State, No. 20
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • October 11, 1978
    ...had assaulted him with a pair of scissors). 2 See Bruce v. State, 218 Md. 87, 96-97, 145 A.2d 428 (1958). See also DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 453, 194 A.2d 109 (1963); Crawford v. State, 231 Md. 354, 190 A.2d 538 (1963); Gunther v. State, 228 Md. 404, 179 A.2d 880 (1962); Guerriero v. ......
  • Huffington v. State, Nos. 64
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1984
    ...the victim to accept medically recommended care, the perpetrator will not be excused from liability for the murder. See DeVaughn v. State, 232 Md. 447, 194 A.2d 109 (1963), cert. denied, 376 U.S. 927, 84 S.Ct. 693, 11 L.Ed.2d 623 (1964). Nevertheless, in a capital punishment case there woul......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT