Gray v. State, 677S397

Decision Date18 April 1978
Docket NumberNo. 677S397,677S397
Citation374 N.E.2d 518,268 Ind. 177
PartiesHarmon GRAY, Appellant (Defendant below), v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Richard C. Brunt, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Robert F. Colker, Asst. Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

HUNTER, Justice.

The defendant, Harmon Gray, was convicted by a jury of commission of a felony while armed, to-wit: robbery, and was sentenced to a term of thirty years' imprisonment. He now appeals and contends that two photographs were erroneously admitted into evidence. The facts in the record most favorable to the state show that an appliance store was robbed by two men in November, 1975. Dennis Dugan, who was an employee of the appliance store, and one of his friends were present during the robbery. Dugan was forced at gunpoint to give the robbers some money and an envelope containing checks made out to the store. The robbers then bound Dugan and his friend with tape and put them in the store's rest room. Five television sets were also taken. The defendant was apprehended later the same night and had the envelope containing the stolen checks in his pocket. The five television sets were recovered in the garage of one of the defendant's friends.

Dugan gave a description of the robbers to the police immediately following the robbery. He described the robber who had the gun as having a beard. Two days later, Dugan identified the defendant through pictures at police headquarters. Although the picture he picked out showed the defendant without a beard, Dugan testified he was able to identify him through his facial characteristics. Dugan also testified that he told police, "This is the man, but he had a beard."

During the trial, Dugan positively identified the defendant as one of the robbers. Then, on cross-examination, the defendant tried to attack Dugan's identification by showing some variances between Dugan's description of the defendant on the night of the robbery and at trial. It was proper for the state to rebut this attack on Dugan's identification by introducing into evidence the photograph which Dugan had identified at the police station and the photograph of defendant as he appeared on the night of the robbery.

Both these photographs showed a single, frontal pose of the defendant from the shoulders up. The lower portion of one photograph had been covered with white paper, so no sign with defendant's name was visible. The other photograph stopped at the shoulders so no sign was visible there either. In both photographs defendant was wearing a colorful sport shirt. While it may have been likely that the jury would infer that these photographs were "mug shots," the state had done everything possible to minimize any prejudicial inferences.

The defendant contends that since both of these photographs were "mug shots," they were highly prejudicial and their admission was reversible error. It is true that as a general rule, when a defendant does not take the stand or otherwise place his character in issue, "mug shots" are not properly admissible when...

To continue reading

Request your trial
15 cases
  • Head v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • December 14, 1982
    ... ... Strong v. State, (1982) Ind., 435 N.E.2d 969; Gray v. State, ... (1978) 268 Ind. 177, 374 N.E.2d 518; Vaughn v. State, (1939) 215 Ind. 142, 19 N.E.2d 239. In order for a "mug shot" to be ... ...
  • Richey v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • October 6, 1981 Indiana for the potential prejudice to defendants which is engendered by the admission of the photographs. Gray v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 177, 374 N.E.2d 518; Blue v. State, (1968) 250 Ind. 249, 235 N.E.2d 471; Fox v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 399 N.E.2d 827. The general proscription is ba......
  • Strong v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • June 3, 1982
    ...would have made even the chain holding the identification plate barely noticeable. See Lawrence v. State, supra; Gray v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 177, 180, 374 N.E.2d 518, 520. See generally Blue v. State, (1968) 250 Ind. 249, 235 N.E.2d 471 (cases cited "We think the State did (not do) every......
  • State v. Long
    • United States
    • Rhode Island Supreme Court
    • February 28, 1985
    ...hesitancy or inability to make a positive identification during trial. United States v. Fosher, 568 F.2d at 213. In Gray v. State, 268 Ind. 177, 374 N.E.2d 518 (1978), the defendant tried to attack the witness's identification of the defendant as one of the robbers. The court held it proper......
  • 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