Dixon v. State

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtTAYLOR; All the Judges concur except BOWEN; BOWEN
Citation579 So.2d 29
Decision Date16 November 1990
PartiesDavid DIXON v. STATE. CR 89-1523.

Page 29

579 So.2d 29
CR 89-1523.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.
Nov. 16, 1990.
Rehearing Denied Feb. 1, 1991.
Certiorari Denied April 19, 1991
Alabama Supreme Court 1900762.

Page 30

Fred Ray Lybrand and William B. Hardegree, Anniston, for appellant.

Don Siegelman, Atty. Gen., and James B. Prude, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

TAYLOR, Presiding Judge.

The appellant, David "Butch" Dixon, was convicted of causing a child to become or remain a child in need of supervision, in violation of § 12-15-13, Code of Alabama 1975. He was fined $100 plus court costs and was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail; however, this sentence was suspended and the appellant was placed on probation for 18 months. The terms of his probation are that he is to commit no criminal acts, have no intentional contact with the 16-year-old female victim in this case (hereinafter referred to as "the victim") and not participate in any volunteer programs at White Plains High School.

The evidence tended to show that the victim met the appellant at White Plains High School where she was a student and he was a volunteer coach with the physical education department. The two began dating in August 1989. The victim's father soon learned about the relationship and because the appellant was seven years older than the victim, he instructed them to stop seeing each other. Nevertheless, the relationship between the victim and the appellant continued.

During the last week of January 1990, the victim's parents went to a convention in Mobile, Alabama. The victim was to stay with a friend. When the victim's parents returned from Mobile, they stopped at the friend's house to pick up their daughter but were told, however, that their daughter had not spent any time there.

When confronted by her father, the victim confessed to having spent two nights with the appellant. On the first night she spent with him, they had sexual intercourse. She admitted that even though the appellant had picked her up in his car, it had been her idea to stay with him. The next day, the victim's father signed a warrant against the appellant and had his daughter declared "in need of supervision."

Page 31

The appellant raises two issues on appeal.


The appellant first contends that the complaint was insufficient to apprise him of the specific charges against him because particular facts were not alleged.

The complaint charging the appellant with causing the victim to become a child in need of supervision stated:

"David Dixon did cause [the victim], a female child sixteen years of age, to become or remain a Child in Need of Supervision in that the said David Dixon did willfully aid or encourage [the victim] to leave the lawful custody of her parents ... in violation of Title 12-15-13 of the Code of Alabama."

Section 12-15-13(a), Code of Alabama 1975, states, in pertinent part:

"It shall be unlawful for any parent, guardian or other person to willfully aid, encourage or cause any child to become or remain delinquent, dependent or in need of supervision or by words, acts, threats, commands or persuasions, to induce or endeavor to induce, aid or encourage any child to do or perform any acts or to follow any course of conduct which would cause or manifestly tend to cause such child to become or remain delinquent, dependent or in need of supervision or by the neglect of any lawful duty or in any other manner contribute to the delinquency, dependency or need of supervision of a child...."

Section 12-15-1(4)(b), Code of Alabama 1975, states that a child is in need of supervision when the child "[d]isobeys the reasonable and lawful demands of his parents, guardian or other custodian and is beyond their control."

In Hewlett v. State, 520 So.2d 200 (Ala.Cr.App.1987), this court held:

"An indictment must allege all the elements of the offense charged, and must also sufficiently apprise the accused of what he must be prepared to defend. Fields v. State, 494 So.2d 477, 479 (Ala.Cr.App.1986); Hardy v. State, 409 So.2d 996, 1001 (Ala.Cr.App.1982). Indictment forms for most criminal offenses are set out in § 15-8-150, Code of Alabama 1975; however, no indictment form for child abuse is contained in this section.

" 'If there is no indictment form for an offense set out in Code § 15-8-150, then an indictment which closely parallels the language of the statute creating the offense is generally valid. Worrell v. State, Ala.Cr.App. 357 So.2d 373, cert. denied, Ala., 357 So.2d 378 (1978); Manson v. State, Ala.Cr.App., 349 So.2d 67, cert. denied, Ala., 349 So.2d 86 (1977); Code § 15-8-23.

" 'Pursuant to Code § 15-8-25, an indictment must state the facts constituting the offense in ordinary and concise language in such a manner as to enable a person of common understanding to know what is intended. An indictment must likewise apprise the accused not only of the nature of the offense, but also of the particular act or means by which it was committed. Chambers v. State, Ala.Cr.App. 364 So.2d 420 (1978). See also: Andrews v. State, Ala.Cr.App. 344 So.2d 533, cert. denied, Ala., 344 So.2d 538 (1977).'

"Harrison v. State, 384 So.2d 641, 643 (Ala.Cr.App.1980)."

520 So.2d at 204.

In the present case, we are of the opinion that the complaint against the appellant is clear and specific. It states sufficient facts, in concise language, to enable the appellant to understand the nature of the crime charged and the particular acts against which he must prepare his defense. The complaint informed the appellant that the crime he was charged with was causing a child to become in need of supervision. The particular act or means by which the appellant committed this crime was alleged to be by willfully aiding or encouraging the victim to leave the lawful custody of her parents. Moreover, the complaint closely parallels the language of §...

To continue reading

Request your trial

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