Jaudon v. State

Decision Date19 October 1970
Docket NumberNo. 1269S294,1269S294
Citation23 Ind.Dec. 182,262 N.E.2d 851,255 Ind. 114
PartiesWilliam M. JAUDON, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Leo J. Lamberson, South Bend, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Robert F. Hassett, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee.

GIVAN, Judge.

The appellant was charged by indictment with the crime of first degree murder. Trial by jury resulted in a conviction of murder in the second degree. The appellant was sentenced to the Indiana State Prison for life.

The facts shown by the record before us are as follows:

On November 28, 1968, the appellant asked Donald Smith, a fifteen year old boy, to drive with him to the home of Eddie Ralph Rapp. The appellant stated that he wanted to go there to get some money. As they left Smith's home, Smith noticed that appellant was wearing a trench coat, and that he was carrying a rifle under the coat.

When they arrived at Rapp's home the appellant instructed Smith to keep the car's motor running, then both Smith and the appellant entered Rapp's home. A conversation ensued in which the appellant demanded money which he claimed Rapp owed him. Rapp replied that he did not have any money. After repeated demands and repeated assertions on the part of Rapp that he had no money, the appellant fired the rifle at Rapp. After the first shot Rapp stated, 'O.K., Bill, I am dead,' to which the appellant replied, 'No, Ralph,' and fired a second shot into Rapp's head. After Rapp had been shot the appellant rummaged through a drawer in Rapp's home. Upon Smith's suggestion, both Smith and the appellant left.

As they drove in the automobile across Sample Street Bridge in South Bend the appellant instructed Smith to stop the car, upon which appellant threw the rifle into the river. Upon arriving at Smith's home, the appellant instructed Smith to tell no one what had happened. The next day the appellant told Smith's mother that he had them where he wanted them, and that he had killed Rapp.

The St. Joseph County Coroner testified that he saw the body of the decedent Rapp on November 29, 1968. He described two bullet wounds in the body, one in the upper chest with an exit wound in the back, the other with an entrance wound at the end of the victim's nose and with a massive exit wound on the back part on the right side of the skull from which brain tissue was protruding. He testified that the cause of death was the massive bullet wound in the head and brain. He stated, 'Nobody could live with that kind of wound.' He further stated that the appearance of the body was in itself sufficient for him to determine the cause of death. He further stated that in his opinion the wounds were such as would be inflicted by shots fired from a high powered firearm held probably at a distance of not more than one foot from the victim. Evidence shows that the police sought to recover the gun from the St. Joseph River, but it was never found.

The defendant himself testified that he had purchased 'a 303 British' at K Mart and two boxes of shells. That he took the gun to his home, loaded it and stood it in a corner, but that it later disappeared.

Appellant first claims as error that he was denied the right to inspect the grand jury minutes. His motion to inspect the grand jury minutes was filed before trial. The State filed an answer stating that no written minutes were taken of the testimony of any witnesses before the grand jury. Appellant claims this was in violation of Burns' Ind.Stat. § 9-810. In this he is correct as the statute specifically instructs that minutes shall be taken. However, we see no reversible error for the reason that the record fails to disclose any ruling by the trial court on appellant's motion. It is a well settled principle that there can be no error claimed in this Court if the trial court has never ruled on the motion in question. Wolf Produce and Transportation Company, Inc. et al. v. Lang Trucking, Inc. (1965), 136 Ind.App. 571, 203 N.E.2d 308, 4 Ind.Dec. 394.

We also see no reversible error in this regard for the reason that it appears from the record that no foundation was laid showing the necessity of examination of the grand jury testimony. Antrobus v. State (1970), Ind., 254 N.E.2d 873, 20 Ind.Dec. 164. The persons testifying against the appellant at the trial were available for complete cross-examination on behalf of the appellant. There was no evidence whether they did or did not testify before the grand jury. We have often said that it is not enough that error be shown in the record, but it must be error which was prejudicial to the defendant. Temple v. State (1964), 245 Ind. 21, 195 N.E.2d 850, 2 Ind.Dec. 656.

We cannot presume under the circumstances of this case that appellant was in any way harmed by the failure of the grand jury to comply with the statute requiring them to keep minutes of their proceedings.

Appellant next claims the trial court erred in refusing his pre-trial request for a polygraph test. The record discloses that although appellant did file such a request, he withdrew his request with leave of the court two days after he had filed it. After the jury had returned its verdict of guilty of...

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15 cases
  • Little v. State, 2-1278A419
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • December 15, 1980
    ...can be shown on appeal if the trial court does not rule on the motion. Minton v. State (1978) Ind., 378 N.E.2d 639; Jaudon v. State (1970) 255 Ind. 114, 262 N.E.2d 851; Colvin v. Bowen (3d Dist. 1980) Ind.App., 399 N.E.2d 835. Thus, there is no merit in this The two allegations of error bas......
  • Dockery v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • October 16, 1974
    ...Moreover, it is to be noted that a conviction may be sustained upon the uncorroborated testimony of a single witness. Jaudon v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 114, 262 N.E.2d 851; Jones v. State (1970), 253 Ind. 480, 255 N.E.2d 219; Black v. State (1972), Ind.App., 287 N.E.2d 354, 32 Ind.Dec. Altho......
  • Yager v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • July 14, 1982
    ...No error can be claimed in the appellate court on the subject matter of a motion never ruled upon by the trial court. Jaudon v. State, (1970) 255 Ind. 114, 262 N.E.2d 851. In a related assignment of error appellant claims the trial court erred in not properly questioning the jurors on voir ......
  • Colvin v. Bowen
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • February 4, 1980
    ...principle that there can be no error claimed as to a motion when that motion was never acted upon by the trial court. Jaudon v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 114, 262 N.E.2d 851; Wolf, etc. et al. v. Lang Tr., Inc. (1965), 136 Ind.App. 571, 203 N.E.2d Cause remanded with instructions to the trial ......
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