Dixon v. State

Decision Date24 April 1963
Docket NumberNo. 30259,30259
Citation243 Ind. 654,189 N.E.2d 715
PartiesAllen DIXON, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

William A. Freihofer, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Edwin K. Steers, Atty. Gen., Frederick J. Graf, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

ACHOR, Judge.

Appellant was charged by affidavit with the crime of first degree burglary. He was found guilty of the lesser offense of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, and sentenced to the Indiana State Prison for not less than one nor more than ten years. This appeal followed. Two errors are assigned and here argued for reversal:

1. That the trial court erred in admitting into the evidence a shotgun which appellant asserts was not properly identified.

2. That the shotgun had no probative value in establishing the elements of the alleged crime; therefore, that its admission into evidence was prejudicial to the appellant.

The following is a concise statement of the evidence in the case, necessary to an understanding of the issue presented. Russell Wolf left his home in Indianapolis on August 10, 1959 for a vacation trip to Colorado. On the night of August 10, the appellant entered the Wolf Dwelling house by breaking in the basement window at the rear 'to see what he could find' and 'to make the joint.' Thereafter he called someone and was waiting for them to pick him up. Obviously they did not come. 'He stayed in too long and it got daylight, so he was going to try to wait till nighttime to leave.'

Shortly after noon, on August 11, a neighbor, who had agreed to look out for the place in the owner's absence, noticed that the front door was open. She called the police, who entered the house and found it 'in almost complete shambles.' The appellant was in the bedroom lying across the bed with a loaded shotgun in his hand. An officer took the gun from the appellant and identified it by scratching 'a small triangular mark to the right rear of the receiver.' Several items of property were stacked in the livingroom by the front door, including a portable sewing machine, an adding machine and a couple electric razors which were in a suitcase.

We now proceed to consider appellant's first contention that the court erred in admitting the shotgun into evidence as an exhibit, without it first being properly identified. Appellant objected to the admission of the gun in evidence on the ground that it was not identified with the initials of the police officer, that it did not bear the date that it was received by him, and that the identifying mark could have been made by some other causation. 1 Appellant's contention is without merit for several reasons. First, because he permitted the police officer to identify the exhibit from the marking placed thereon without objection, before offering it in evidence as an exhibit and, secondly, for the reason that, because of the very nature of the exhibit and the manner in which it was marked for authentication, there is a strong presumption that it was the identical gun taken from the appellant at the time of his arrest. Under these circumstances the admission of the exhibit into evidence was a matter...

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15 cases
  • Ballard v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 18 Abril 1974
    ...from inside the house, was relevant circumstantial evidence to prove Ballard's specific criminal intent and entry. Dixon v. State, (1963) 243 Ind. 654, 189 N.E.2d 715; Marshall v. State, (1949) 227 Ind. 1, 83 N.E.2d 763; Eckert v. State, As to the vacuum sweeper, Ballard fails to demonstrat......
  • Ballard v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • 12 Noviembre 1974
    ...from inside the house, was relevant circumstancial evidence to prove Ballard's specific criminal intent and entry. Dixon v. State, (1963) 243 Ind. 654, 189 N.E.2d 715; Marshall v. State, (1949) 227 Ind. 1, 83 N.E.2d 763; Eckert v. State, 'As to the vacuum sweeper, Ballard fails to demonstra......
  • Smith v. State, 1069S228
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • 14 Julio 1971
    ...what the person does after he breaks and enters is relevant in determining what his intent was at the time he entered. Dixon v. State (1963), 243 Ind. 654, 189 N.E.2d 715. The victim's testimony is all the evidence on this point and it shows appellant only approached her after she had turne......
  • Farno v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 28 Marzo 1974
    ...796; Croney v. State, (1969) 252 Ind. 319, 247 N.E.2d 501; Wojcik v. State, (1965) 246 Ind. 257, 204 N.E.2d 866; Dixon v. State, (1963) 243 Ind. 654, 189 N.E.2d 715; Coffer v. State, (1958) 239 Ind. 22, 154 N.E.2d 371; Eby v. State, (1972) Ind.App., 290 N.E.2d 89 (transfer There are reasona......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • § 26.02 REAL EVIDENCE
    • United States
    • Carolina Academic Press Understanding Evidence (CAP) Title Chapter 26 Real and Demonstrative Evidence
    • Invalid date
    ...United States v. Madril, 445 F.2d 827, 828 (9th Cir. 1971) (pistol), vacated on other grounds, 404 U.S. 1010 (1972); Dixon v. State, 189 N.E.2d 715, 716 (Ind. 1963) (shotgun); Almodovar v. State, 464 N.E.2d 906, 911 (Ind. 1984) (initials scratched on shell casing).[9] E.g., United States v.......
  • § 26.02 Real Evidence
    • United States
    • Carolina Academic Press Understanding Evidence (2018) Title Chapter 26 Real and Demonstrative Evidence
    • Invalid date
    ...52 F.3d 58, 61 (4th Cir. 1995) (detective "identified the vials [of cocaine] using his initials and the case number"); Dixon v. State, 189 N.E.2d 715, 716 (Ind. 1963) (shotgun); Almodovar v. State, 464 N.E.2d 906, 911 (Ind. 1984) (initials scratched on shell casing).[9] E.g., United States ......

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