Haddock v. State

Decision Date27 October 1937
Citation129 Fla. 701,176 So. 782
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Error to Criminal Court of Record, Polk County; Robert T. Dewell Judge.

Robert B. Haddock was convicted of second degree, murder, and he brings error.

Reversed and a new trial granted.

COUNSEL D. O. Rogers, of Lakeland, for plaintiff in error.

Cary D Landis, Atty. Gen., and Roy Campbell and John L. Graham Asst. Attys. Gen., for the State.


CHAPMAN Justice.

The parties hereto will be referred to in this opinion as they appeared in the lower court as the state and defendant. Defendant was indicted by a grand jury of Polk county, Fla., for murder in the first degree, and upon trial was convicted of murder in the second degree, and was sentenced to 20 years in the state prison. On writ of error to this court, the judgment was reversed and a new trial awarded. See Haddock v. State, 121 Fla. 167, 163 So. 482. On going down of the mandate, the cause was transferred from the circuit court to the criminal court of record of Polk county when an information was filed, and upon arraignment entered a plea of not guilty. The cause was tried by a jury in the criminal court of Polk county and a verdict of second degree murder was rendered, a motion for new trial made and overruled when the court sentenced the defendant to the state prison for a period of 20 years, and the case is here for review on writ of error.

The first question for consideration by this court is: Did the criminal court of record of Polk county have jurisdiction of the defendant and the subject-matter of the cause so as to enable it to render a lawful judgment? It is contended that the criminal court of record of Polk county, Fla., under sections 4349, 4350, 4351, and 4352, Comp.Gen.Laws 1927, never acquired jurisdiction; that jurisdiction at the time of the trial of defendant was in the circuit court after the going down of the mandate from this court because of a failure to comply, substantially, with the sections supra. The record shows that the circuit court by an order dated February 6, 1936, upon the joint motion of counsel for defendant and the state attorney, ordered a transfer of this cause to the criminal court of record. The information was filed in the criminal court of record on January 18, 1936, by the county solicitor of Polk county, Fla. The information in the criminal court of record had been pending there from January 18th to the date of the order of transfer as entered by the circuit court on February 6, 1936. Counsel for the defendant, according to the record, joined with the state attorney requesting the entry of the order. The same attorney joining in this requested order appeared as counsel for the defendant in the criminal court of record, and likewise has prosecuted the appeal here. The record fails to disclose an arraignment of the defendant or a filing of a plea thereto, but the lower court in its charges to the jury recited the fact that the defendant filed a plea of not guilty to the information. The condition of the record was well known to counsel for the defendant at the time of going to trial. He had ample opportunity to raise this question by plea in abatement. The criminal court of record of Polk county, Fla., acquired jurisdiction of the cause upon filing of the information on January 18, 1936. See section 28 of article 5 of the Constitution of Florida; also State ex rel. Buckheitt v. Butt, 25 Fla. 258, 5 So. 597. After the defendant and counsel appeared in the criminal court of record and participated in each step of the trial until a verdict was filed by the jury on February 22, 1936, with a complete and full knowledge of the entry of the order of the circuit court on February 6, 1936, and thereafter by motion in arrest of judgment, contention that the criminal court of record was without jurisdiction comes too late. We think this defense should have been presented by plea in abatement by the defendant and his counsel prior to filing a plea of not guilty, and for this reason such error, if any, was waived by defendant by proceeding with the trial of the cause. See Hicks v. State, 97 Fla. 199, 120 So. 330; Colson v. State, 51 Fla. 19, text page 35, 40 So. 183.

Defendant by profession is a dentist and practiced in the city of Lakeland for approximately 20 years. He was 50 years of age, married, and had two sons and two daughters. His wife died when his girls were young, and he never remarried. He had the double responsibility of supporting his family by following his profession and doing a considerable part of the housekeeping duties. The girls at the time of the tragedy were 11 and 15, respectively. The girls had attended the schools at Lakeland and the father wanted to see them complete, and with this idea, suggested to his older daughter that attention of boys or men would interfere with her school work. The father left home for his office around 8:30 a. m., on July 2, 1934, and had but a few blocks to travel from his home to his office. The deceased, about 16 or 17 years of age, had attended school at Lakeland and had had employment at a bakery about the time of the trouble. The young man had been calling at the Haddock home to see the 15 year old daughter during the absence of the father and while he was at the office. The evidence is conflicting about the deceased being a welcomed guest in the Haddock home after the father had left for his office, and the record shows that he was there frequently, and this was unknown to the father.

The record shows an improper relation between deceased and the older daughter of the defendant. This occurred when she was approximately 15 years of age and occurred on the premises when the father was away. This relation had existed for some time, and on the day of the tragedy the deceased was at the Haddock home when the younger daughter telephoned her father's office. He was so advised by his office help, and further told of the improper relation between deceased and his older daughter and her probable ruin. He took his car and immediately went to his home to see about his daughter, and within a few minutes after leaving his office found the deceased near his home, and was shot by the defendant, and shortly thereafter he died.

We are not unmindful of the utterances of this court in passing upon a single instruction or charge to the effect that it should be considered in connection with all other instructions and charges bearing upon the same subject, as was fully stated in Lewis v. State, 55 Fla. 54, text page 63, 45 So. 998, 1001, when it was said:

'It is settled law in this court that in passing upon a single instruction or charge it should be considered in connection with all the other instructions and charges bearing on the same subject, and if, when thus considered, the law appears to have been fairly presented to the jury, an assignment predicated upon the giving of such instruction or charge must fail, unless under all the peculiar circumstances of the case the court is of the opinion that such instruction or charge was calculated to confuse, mislead, or prejudice the jury. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Crosby, 53 Fla. 400, 43 So. 318, and authorities therein cited; Davis v. State, 54 Fla. 34, 44 So. 757; Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Beazley, 54 Fla. 311, 45 So. 761; Cross v. Aby [55 Fla. 311, 45 So. 820] decided here at this term.'

The lower court, after having instructed and charged the jury upon the law of the case of its own motion, further charged:

'However, Gentlemen, the Court of its own motion further charges you that the mere statement made to the defendant, that Guy Harvard Haynes, Jr., had committed a felony upon the daughter of defendant, does not establish that a felony had been dommitted; it is a question of fact for you to determine from the evidence whether or not a felony had been committed by Guy Harvard Haynes.'

The record shows the defendant acquired knowledge for the first time of the violation of the chastity of his 15 year old daughter some...

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8 cases
  • Card v. Dugger
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • September 4, 1990
    ...with state law. See White v. State, 446 So.2d 1031, 1034 (Fla.1984); State v. King, 426 So.2d 12, 14 (Fla.1982); Haddock v. State, 129 Fla. 701, 176 So.782 (1937). Thus, the state's bar has not been used in a manner that is arbitrary, irregular, or manifestly Notwithstanding a state's valid......
  • Haddock v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • December 19, 1939
    ...a change of venue; witnesses were adduced and testimony offered in open court in support of the motion, and newspaper clippings about the Haddock case were It is well settled law in Florida that an application for a change of venue is addressed to the sound discretion of the court, and its ......
  • State Ex Rel. Landis v. Ault
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • October 27, 1937
  • State v. King
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1982
    ...have had as to the court's jurisdiction over his person, he waived them by appearing in person and defending his case. Haddock v. State, 129 Fla. 701, 176 So. 782 (1937); Tillman v. State, 58 Fla. 113, 50 So. 675 The situation in Haddock is quite analogous to the one in this case. In Haddoc......
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