Hardesty v. State, 30859

Decision Date11 December 1967
Docket NumberNo. 30859,30859
Citation249 Ind. 518,231 N.E.2d 510
PartiesKenneth HARDESTY, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

John M. Lyons, Lyons & Aungst, Valparaiso, for appellant.

John J. Dillon, Atty. Gen., of Indiana, Donald R. Ewers, Asst. Atty. Gen., Charles J. Deiter, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

LEWIS, Judge.

The appellant was convicted in a trial by jury of the crime of Reckless Homicide pursuant to Burns' Indiana Statutes, Anno., § 47--2001 (1965 Repl.).

On appeal the following errors of law are submitted for this Court's consideration:

(1) That the verdict of the jury is contrary to law in that it is not sustained by sifficient evidence.

(2) That the Trial Court erred in refusing to give defendant's tendered instruction, numbers 19--28.

The statute, Burns' § 47--2001, supra, under which the appellant was charged, reads, in part, as follows:

'Reckless Homicide. Any person who drives a vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of others and thereby causes the death of another person shall be guilty of the offense of reckless homicide. * * *'

A brief summary of the evidence will be made at this point. The record reveals that there were only two parties present at the time of the collision, the appellant and the decedent. The collision occurred at night on June 12, 1964, with the weather being clear and the roads dry. There were no street lights and the point in the road where the collision occurred was hazardous; that is, it occurred on top of a hill. Visibility of an oncoming car from either direction would be greatly impaired. Appellant stated that he did not see the car until almost immediately before the impact.

The State produced a witness, one Lee Bailey, who gave the following account. He was driving over to a friend's house to visit. As he approached the house he slowed down to about 20 or 25 m.p.h. in order to locate the house. While he was traveling at this rate of speed he noticed behind him 'two headlights' pull out of a parking lot in a 'cloud of dust'. As the car approached Bailey, he ascertained that it was a red Dodge convertible with a white top and a white stripe on the side. The driver had dark hair and was wearing a light-colored shirt. Bailey pulled over to the side of the road and the Dodge 'shot by him at a great rate of speed', 65--70 m.p.h. in Bailey's estimation. As the car was passing witness Bailey, the engine roared and the car 'fish-tailed' and moved to the middle of the road 'hugging the center-line' although there was no line painted on the road. Bailey observed that the Dodge did not stop for a four-way stop sign and continued in this manner until he left his sight.

Bailey arrived at his friend's house. He stopped his car, got out, and went to the front door of the house. He knocked, waited, and when no one answered he concluded his friend wasn't home and returned to his car. He says somewhere in this sequent of events he heard a noise which may have been a crash in the distance, but he was not positive of this.

Bailey got back into his car, started it, and proceeded along the same route as that previously taken by the Dodge. Thereupon he came upon the scene of the collision--the red Dodge meeting the same description as the one which previously had passed him, and the decedent's station wagon.

The evidence at the point of impact consists of testimony that there was debris on both sides of the center line and that there were skid marks, fifty-two feet, four inches in length, apparently made by the appellant's car, which straddled the center line. The appellant admitted he was driving the red Dodge. Also, he was wearing a light colored-shirt and had dark hair.

There was no evidence presented, save for the skid marks, tending to establish the speed or position of either car just previous to the impact. In addition, there was no expert testimony to interpret the skid marks or to explain what, if anything, the indicated.

In the case of Beeman v. State (1953), 232 Ind. 683, 115 N.E.2d 919, this Court laid down the following test for reckless homicide:

'But while the intention to do or omit the act resulting in injury to another is a necessary ingredient of reckless homicide, willfulness in the sense of a design, purpose, or intent to inflict an injury is not a necessary element of the offense. In other words, to be guilty of a reckless disregard for the safety of others, it is not necessary that one intend the harm which results from it. It is...

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22 cases
  • Slusher v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • June 30, 1982
    ...employed the "knew or should have known" test for criminal recklessness under the motor vehicle statutes. See, e.g., Hardesty v. State (1967), 249 Ind. 518, 231 N.E.2d 510; Shorter v. State (1954), 234 Ind. 1, 122 N.E.2d 847.5 We do not suggest it cannot be done, merely that the law require......
  • Campins v. Capels
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • March 28, 1984
    ...knew, or should have known from the existing facts, that harm would follow whether he desired it or not. See, e.g., Hardesty v. State, (1967) 249 Ind. 518, 231 N.E.2d 510; Beeman v. State, (1953) 232 Ind. 683, 115 N.E.2d Campins's policy of refraining from questioning closely those who sold......
  • Williams v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • January 27, 1981
    ...injury on another person. In support of this argument he cites DeVaney v. State, (1972) 259 Ind. 483, 288 N.E.2d 732, Hardesty v. State, (1967) 249 Ind. 518, 231 N.E.2d 510, and Johnson v. State, (1975) 164 Ind.App. 12, 326 N.E.2d 637, for the proposition that the mere happening of an accid......
  • Kidwell v. State, 1267
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • October 6, 1969
    ...conviction for reckless driving on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to sustain a finding of recklessness. In Hardesty v. State (1967), Ind., 231 N.E.2d 510, this Court reversed as insufficient a case where the defendant straddling the centerline ran head on into another car. Sh......
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