Hall v. Superior Court In and For Sacramento County

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtSCHOTTKY; VAN DYKE, P. J., and PEEK
Citation262 P.2d 351,120 Cal.App.2d 844
Parties. District Court of Appeal, Third District, California
Decision Date27 October 1953

Page 351

262 P.2d 351
120 Cal.App.2d 844
HALL et al.
District Court of Appeal, Third District, California.
Oct. 27, 1953.
As Modified Nov. 9, 1953.
Hearing Denied Dec. 23, 1953.

Page 352

[120 Cal.App.2d 846] Peter Mannino, Edwin L. Z'Berg, Sacramento, Keith W. Lamb, Asst. Public Def., for petitioners.

Edmund G. Brown, Atty. Gen. by Doris H. Maier, Sacramento, Elvin F. Sheehy, Dist. Atty., Sacramento, for respondent.

SCHOTTKY, Justice.

Petitioners filed in this court a petition to prohibit the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of Sacramento, from taking any further proceedings upon an information theretofore filed against petitioners. The said information charged petitioners with the crime of murder, and following a preliminary examination they were held to answer. They then entered pleas of not guilty and were tried in the Superior Court, which trial resulted in the jury disagreeing. Thereafter, petitioners moved the trial court for leave to withdraw their pleas in order to move the court to set aside the information upon the ground that they had been illegally committed. Their motion to withdraw their pleas was granted and they then made a motion to set aside the information, which motion was denied by the court. Their pleas of not guilty were then reinstated, and the cause was set for trial for Wednesday, September 23, 1953. Within the statutory time petitioners filed herein their petition for a writ of prohibition and we issued an alternative writ and stayed further proceedings in the Superior Court pending the decision of this court upon said petition.

[120 Cal.App.2d 847] The principal contention of petitioners is that the proof at the preliminary examination failed to establish the corpus delicti of the offense charged, and that the defendants were held to answer without reasonable or probable cause, and therefore the information was illegal and void. Petitioners argue that the oral statements of the petitioners which were admitted against them at the preliminary examination, over the objections of petitioners, could have no weight because the corpus delicti had not been shown.

It is, of course, elementary that before a defendant may be held to answer to the Superior Court it must appear from the testimony at the preliminary examination that a public offense has been committed, and as this court said in In re Schuber, 68 Cal.App.2d 424, at page 425, 156 P.2d 944, at page 945:

'As stated in the case of People v. Simonsen, 107 Cal. 345, 40 P. 440: 'It is elementary that the corpus delicti must be established before extrajudicial statements and admissions of a defendant are admissible in evidence and can be considered as tending to establish the fact to which they relate.' That such is the overwhelming weight of authority in this country must be conceded. In re Kelly, 28 Nev. 491, 83 P. 223.

'While it is true that preliminary examinations of persons accused of crime when held before a committing magistrate are usually less formal in matters of procedure than would be required upon the trial of the cause the essential principles of procedure and of evidence may not be departed from by committing magistrates in the conduct of such examinations, In re Williams, 52 Cal.App. 566, 199 P. 347, and although the committing magistrate may hold a defendant to answer upon evidence which would not support a verdict of guilty, nevertheless there must be some evidence tending to show the commission of the crime charged before a defendant's admission or confession can be introduced for any purpose. People v. Kaye, 43 Cal.App.2d 802, 111 P.2d 679.'

At the preliminary examination one Casimiro Brea, who occupied a cabin down on the river front in Sacramento, at which cabin decedent Rosario Gonzales also resided, testified that decedent came home at 7:30 p. m. on the night of March 31, 1953; that he was in a very drunken condition, having been drinking for two or three weeks, but that the witness saw no

Page 353

bruises upon him; that decedent went into his room and Brea did not see him again until about 6:00 o'clock the next morning when, after preparing coffee, he called decedent, and [120 Cal.App.2d 848] getting no answer went into decedent's room and found him dead in bed. Dr....

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19 cases
  • Hovey v. Ayers, 03-99001.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • August 11, 2006
    ...must be established before extrajudicial statements and admissions of a defendant are admissible in evidence," Hall v. Superior Court, 120 Cal.App.2d 844, 847, 262 P.2d 351 (Dist.Ct.App.1953) (internal quotation marks omitted), and that the prosecution could not prove the corpus delicti of ......
  • People v. Soto, Cr. 3200
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 4, 1956
    ...the arrest and had spent the night with 'Wimpy'. These admissions, on this motion, must be disregarded. Hall v. Superior Court, 120 Cal.App.2d 844, 262 P.2d 351; People v. Schuber, 71 Cal.App.2d 773, 163 P.2d Under this evidence, for the purpose of a motion under section 995 of the Penal Co......
  • Rogers v. Superior Court of Alameda County
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 29, 1955
    ...Court, 97 Cal.App.2d 26, 30, 217 P.2d 158; Jackson v. Superior Court, 98 Cal.App.2d 183, 189, 219 P.2d 879; Hall v. Superior Court, 120 Cal.App.2d 844, 850, 262 P.2d 351; Pen.Code, §§ 995, Section 871 of the Penal Code provides: 'If, after hearing the proofs, it appears either that no publi......
  • State v. Angell, 78-43-C
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Rhode Island
    • August 9, 1979
    ...a result, there must be proof of the crime from some source other than defendant's admission. Hall v. Superior Court, 120 Cal.2d 844, 847, 262 P.2d 351, 352 (1953); People v. Cullen, 37 Cal.2d 614, 624, 234 P.2d 1, 7 (1951). The prosecution is thus required to establish the corpus delicti t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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