Graham v. State, 3 Div. 505

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtCHARLES R. CROWDER; The appellant filed a motion for a new trial in which it was contended that a State's witness improperly spoke with one or more of the jurors during a recess of the trial. At the hearing, Alvis Taylor, the mother of the appellant,
Citation339 So.2d 110
PartiesMargaret Frances GRAHAM v. STATE.
Decision Date05 October 1976
Docket Number3 Div. 505

Page 110

339 So.2d 110
Margaret Frances GRAHAM
v.
STATE.
3 Div. 505.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.
Oct. 5, 1976.
Rehearing Denied Nov. 2, 1976.

Page 112

Elno A. Smith, Jr., Montgomery, for appellant.

William J. Baxley, Atty. Gen., and Jane LeCroy Robbins, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.

CHARLES R. CROWDER, Circuit Judge.

The appellant was indicted by the grand jury of Montgomery County in its July term, 1975. The indictment stated that Margaret Frances Graham, '. . . unlawfully and with malice aforethought killed Linda Sankey by shooting her with a pistol, against the peace and dignity of the State of Alabama.'

Appellant filed a plea of not guilty and waiver of arraignment on July 12, 1975. She was tried by jury on August 14, 1975 and found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to life imprisonment in the State penitentiary. On August 15, 1975, sentence was pronounced and appellant gave notice of appeal. Appellant filed a motion for a new trial on August 27, 1975, which was denied on September 26, 1975. Appellant was allowed to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis, a free transcript was provided and counsel appointed to represent appellant on appeal.

This case is one which is often seen as the result of marital difficulties exasperated by that three-sided figure known as the 'triangle.'

On May 31, 1975, one Linda Sankey was shot and killed by appellant, Margaret Frances Graham, with a pistol. The events leading up to this unfortunate occurrence were substantially as follows.

On Monday, May 26, 1975, the appellant and her husband, Willie Graham, had an argument over several telephone calls that he was receiving which caused suspicion to the appellant. The appellant, subsequent to these arguments, moved out of the apartment where she and Willie Graham were living as husband and wife and moved in wit her mother, Alvis Taylor. The address located at 529--A Clayton Court is where the Grahams lived.

On Wednesday, May 28, 1975, following the departure of his wife from their domicile, Willie Graham went to a bar or 'Shot House' on the Mobile Road in Montgomery, Alabama, and began drinking. While there he was approached by Linda Sankey, the deceased, and she asked him if he would take her home. Willie Graham eagerly accepted the offer and then proceeded to escort the victim out dancing and drinking over the period of the next two days, to various dance halls in Lowndes County, Alabama. On Friday, May 30, 1975, the day before the killing, Willie Graham and the deceased stayed out drinking and dancing until the early morning hours of Saturday, May 31, 1975. They apparently agreed to spend the night with each other and arrived at his apartment at 529--A Clayton Court approximately 4:00 A.M. on the 31st and spent the remainder of the night there. Approximately 9:00 Saturday morning, May 31, 1975, Willie Graham got up and went to work, leaving Linda Sankey alone at the apartment.

That same morning the appellant, Margaret Frances Graham, made a call to her apartment at 529--A Clayton Court, obviously wishing to get in touch with her husband, and a woman, whom the appellant did not know, answered the telephone. The woman was Linda Sankey. Upon hanging up the telephone, the appellant and her mother proceeded to the apartment in a taxicab. During the cab ride the appellant asked her mother if she had her 'thing,' obviously referring to a pistol. In response to that question her mother answered, 'yes.' The appellant then requested that the pistol be given to her and her mother complied with this request.

Upon arriving at the apartment the appellant testified that she entered her apartment and encountered Linda Sankey. The appellant stated that she asked Linda...

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19 practice notes
  • State v. McCullum, No. 47766-3
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • 6 janvier 1983
    ...adopting this rule have stated it in various ways. See, e.g., Frank v. United States, 42 F.2d 623, 627 (9th Cir.1930); Graham v. State, 339 So.2d 110 (Ala.Cr.App.1976); Payne v. State, 52 Ala.App. 453, 293 So.2d 877 (1974); Collier v. State, 49 Ala.App. 685, 275 So.2d 364 (1973); State v. G......
  • State v. Kirtley, No. 13912
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 28 novembre 1978
    ...on the issue of self-defense, the state is obliged to disprove the defense of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Graham v. State, 339 So.2d 110 (Ala.App.1976), Cert. denied (Ala.), 339 So.2d 114; State v. Garcia, 114 Ariz. 317, 560 P.2d 1224 (1977); Bolin v. State, 297 So.2d 317 (Fla.A......
  • Grice v. State, 4 Div. 461
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 26 novembre 1985
    ...883 (Ala.Crim.App.1983). Conflicting evidence as to what actually took place creates a question for the jury to resolve. Graham v. State, 339 So.2d 110 (Ala.Crim.App.), cert. denied, 339 So.2d 114 (Ala.1976); McBryar v. State, 368 So.2d 568 (Ala.Crim.App.), cert. denied, 368 So.2d 575 "In r......
  • Hand v. State, 1 Div. 653
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 24 avril 1984
    ...of sound discretion." Gaffney v. State, 342 So.2d 403 (Ala.Cr.App.1976), cert. denied, 342 So.2d 404 (Ala.1977); Graham v. State, 339 So.2d 110 (Ala.Cr.App.), cert. denied, 339 So.2d 114 (Ala.1976); Simms v. State, 56 Ala.App. 156, 320 So.2d 89 (1975). Moreover, such a ruling by the trial c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • State v. McCullum, No. 47766-3
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • 6 janvier 1983
    ...adopting this rule have stated it in various ways. See, e.g., Frank v. United States, 42 F.2d 623, 627 (9th Cir.1930); Graham v. State, 339 So.2d 110 (Ala.Cr.App.1976); Payne v. State, 52 Ala.App. 453, 293 So.2d 877 (1974); Collier v. State, 49 Ala.App. 685, 275 So.2d 364 (1973); State v. G......
  • State v. Kirtley, No. 13912
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 28 novembre 1978
    ...on the issue of self-defense, the state is obliged to disprove the defense of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Graham v. State, 339 So.2d 110 (Ala.App.1976), Cert. denied (Ala.), 339 So.2d 114; State v. Garcia, 114 Ariz. 317, 560 P.2d 1224 (1977); Bolin v. State, 297 So.2d 317 (Fla.A......
  • Grice v. State, 4 Div. 461
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 26 novembre 1985
    ...883 (Ala.Crim.App.1983). Conflicting evidence as to what actually took place creates a question for the jury to resolve. Graham v. State, 339 So.2d 110 (Ala.Crim.App.), cert. denied, 339 So.2d 114 (Ala.1976); McBryar v. State, 368 So.2d 568 (Ala.Crim.App.), cert. denied, 368 So.2d 575 "In r......
  • Hand v. State, 1 Div. 653
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 24 avril 1984
    ...of sound discretion." Gaffney v. State, 342 So.2d 403 (Ala.Cr.App.1976), cert. denied, 342 So.2d 404 (Ala.1977); Graham v. State, 339 So.2d 110 (Ala.Cr.App.), cert. denied, 339 So.2d 114 (Ala.1976); Simms v. State, 56 Ala.App. 156, 320 So.2d 89 (1975). Moreover, such a ruling by the trial c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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