Ex parte Hand

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtADAMS; TORBERT
Citation472 So.2d 675
Decision Date08 February 1985
PartiesEx parte Thomas J. HAND, III. (Re Thomas J. Hand, III v. State of Alabama). 83-971.

Page 675

472 So.2d 675
Ex parte Thomas J. HAND, III.
(Re Thomas J. Hand, III
v.
State of Alabama).
83-971.
Supreme Court of Alabama.
Feb. 8, 1985.
Rehearing Denied May 10, 1985.

Lee L. Hale, Mobile, for petitioner.

Charles A. Graddick, Atty. Gen., and Richard L. Owens, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent.

ADAMS, Justice.

We granted certiorari in this case to address petitioner's assertion that his constitutional rights were violated by the trial court, and later by the Court of Criminal Appeals in its affirmance, because a key witness for the defense was prohibited from testifying on his behalf. We hold that his rights were violated, and, therefore, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals, 472 So.2d 671.

Petitioner, Thomas J. Hand III, was convicted of theft of property in the first degree and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment pursuant to the Habitual Felony Offender Act. The events leading up to this conviction are as follows.

On March 24, 1981, Hand, who had repossessed automobiles on numerous other occasions, spotted a gold-colored, 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix with a Texas license plate. Hand suspected that the car was "missing," and called the lienholder, Bob Baker Motors. Hand asked Bob Baker, owner of Bob Baker Motors, if he was missing such a car, and, after receiving an affirmative response, asked Baker if he wanted the car to be repossessed. According to the evidence

Page 676

produced at trial, Baker told Hand not to repossess the car. Hand, however, did take the car from its owner, James Searcy, who admitted that he was behind on his payments. Searcy did not try to keep Hand from taking the car. After being informed that the car had, in fact, been taken from Searcy, Baker attempted to have the car repossessed from Hand, and had Hand arrested for stealing the car.

At trial, defense counsel called Paula Renee Turner to testify. She stated that she was in the car with Hand on March 24, 1981, when he discovered the gold Grand Prix. Further, she said she heard a conversation over the car telephone between Hand and an individual who identified himself as Bob Baker, concerning the repossession of the 1977 Grand Prix owned by James Searcy. When counsel tried to elicit testimony concerning the contents of the conversation, the prosecution objected on the grounds that such testimony was hearsay and, therefore, inadmissible. After several unsuccessful attempts by defense counsel to get the testimony before the jury, the trial court ruled that any testimony by the witness concerning the conversation was inadmissible.

Unable to get the contents of the conversation before the jury...

To continue reading

Request your trial
6 practice notes
  • Jackson v. State, CR-91-820
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • September 30, 1993
    ...motion for a mistrial or motion for new trial. See, generally, Hand v. State, 472 So.2d 671 (Ala.Crim.App.1984), rev'd on other grounds, 472 So.2d 675 (Ala.1985) (trial court did not err in denying motion for mistrial which was based on observance of conversation between prosecution witness......
  • Samuels v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 26, 1991
    ...a motion for mistrial or motion for new trial. See, generally, Hand v. State, 472 So.2d 671 (Ala.Crim.App.1984), rev'd on other grounds, 472 So.2d 675 (Ala.1985) (trial court did not err in denying motion for mistrial which was based on observance of conversation between prosecution witness......
  • Smith v. State, CR-90-488
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • June 14, 1991
    ...his jury was subjected to outside influence. This court, in Hand v. State, 472 So.2d 671, 674 (Ala.Cr.App.), rev'd on other grounds, 472 So.2d 675 (Ala.1985), held: " 'The prejudicial effect of communications between jurors and others, especially in a criminal case, determines the reversibl......
  • Avon-Avalon, Inc. v. Collins, AVON-AVALO
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • May 6, 1994
    ...holding, the identity of the parties to the telephone call was established by, at the least, circumstantial evidence. In Ex Parte Hand, 472 So.2d 675 (Ala.1985), a defendant who was accused of stealing an automobile from a lienholder argued that during a conversation over a mobile telephone......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Jackson v. State, CR-91-820
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • September 30, 1993
    ...motion for a mistrial or motion for new trial. See, generally, Hand v. State, 472 So.2d 671 (Ala.Crim.App.1984), rev'd on other grounds, 472 So.2d 675 (Ala.1985) (trial court did not err in denying motion for mistrial which was based on observance of conversation between prosecution witness......
  • Samuels v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 26, 1991
    ...a motion for mistrial or motion for new trial. See, generally, Hand v. State, 472 So.2d 671 (Ala.Crim.App.1984), rev'd on other grounds, 472 So.2d 675 (Ala.1985) (trial court did not err in denying motion for mistrial which was based on observance of conversation between prosecution witness......
  • Smith v. State, CR-90-488
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • June 14, 1991
    ...his jury was subjected to outside influence. This court, in Hand v. State, 472 So.2d 671, 674 (Ala.Cr.App.), rev'd on other grounds, 472 So.2d 675 (Ala.1985), held: " 'The prejudicial effect of communications between jurors and others, especially in a criminal case, determines the reversibl......
  • Avon-Avalon, Inc. v. Collins, AVON-AVALO
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • May 6, 1994
    ...holding, the identity of the parties to the telephone call was established by, at the least, circumstantial evidence. In Ex Parte Hand, 472 So.2d 675 (Ala.1985), a defendant who was accused of stealing an automobile from a lienholder argued that during a conversation over a mobile telephone......
  • 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