Johnson v. State, No. 2-1277A447

Docket NºNo. 2-1277A447
Citation380 N.E.2d 566, 177 Ind.App. 501
Case DateSeptember 18, 1978
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 566

380 N.E.2d 566
177 Ind.App. 501
Lewis JOHNSON, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
No. 2-1277A447.
Court of Appeals of Indiana, Second District.
Sept. 18, 1978.

[177 Ind.App. 502]

Page 567

Jack A. Quirk, Muncie, for appellant.

Theo. L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Terry G. Duga, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

YOUNG, Judge.

Defendant-appellant, Lewis Johnson, was charged by information with Second Degree Burglary. Johnson was tried by the court without intervention of a jury and found guilty as charged. Defendant alleges as error the admission of certain evidence as well as the sufficiency of the evidence. We affirm the conviction.

The facts relevant to appellant's claims are as follows:

On the morning of April 7, 1977, the police were alerted to the possibility of a burglary at a scrap and bailing corporation in Muncie. Upon arriving at the scene, one of the police officers saw two people exit the building and climb over a fence. He was unable to capture either, but did get a glimpse of the one. The officer described him as approximately six feet tall, medium build, shoulder length dark hair and wearing a green coat of fingertip length with a lighter collar. This description was broadcast to other patrol cars. As a result two suspects were apprehended ten minutes later three or four blocks from the building and taken back to the scene. The officer could not positively identify either but at trial stated an identical description when asked to describe one of the subjects apprehended,

Page 568

the defendant in this case. The officer also described him as having mud and grease on his feet. Further testimony [177 Ind.App. 503] by the officer included statements that the defendant smelled like the junkyard smells, that the footprints on the door at the point of breaking were outlined with grease and mud and of the same basic configuration as the soles of the defendant's shoe. The officer also stated that the mud and grease on the door was the same as was on the pants and shoes of the defendant and the same as in the junkyard. Johnson was convicted as charged. His Motion to Correct Errors having been overruled, defendant takes this appeal.

Appellant raises as error the admission of the police officer's testimony that the substance on the legs and shoes of the defendant was the same substance found around the premises of the scene of the alleged crime, that the footprints appearing on the door at the point of breaking were the same as the defendant's shoe soles, and that the defendant smelled the same as the junkyard. Also appellant contends that there was insufficient evidence to find him guilty and that finding was contrary to the law.

We will first discuss the admissibility of the officer's testimony and then determine if there was sufficient evidence.

First, appellant alleges as inadmissible the officer's testimony to the effect that the substance observed on the legs and shoes of the defendant was the same as found around the premises of the junkyard. Johnson contends that there was no proper foundation for the comparison. The officer testified that defendant's shoes and the lower part of his pants were covered with mud and grease; that there was a large amount of grease near the fence over which he observed the two subjects escape; that there was mud and grease around the footprints at the point of breaking, having been left because of the mud and grease in the junkyard; that the mud and grease around the footprints was the same mud and grease on defendant's pants and shoes. Defendant objected to a comparison of the footprints to defendant's shoe stating "he has not laid a foundation for this man to be an expert on the judgment or the comparing of footprints to feet." After this objection was overruled, the officer made the comparison of footprints and continued to say that the mud and grease which made the footprints on the door was the same as that which was on Johnson's shoes. Defendant made no objection to this comparison. Later the officer testified that there was a [177 Ind.App. 504] large amount of grease in the junkyard and it was the same as was on the defendant's pants and shoes. Defendant objected to This comparison. The State agreed to restrict the testimony to the amount of grease in the junkyard omitting the comparison. The comparison to which defendant is objecting is therefore not in evidence. 1

Next appellant alleges as error the admission of a comparison of Johnson's foot to the footprint on the door at the point of breaking. Appellant contends that there

Page 569

was no proper foundation for a comparison by the police officer and the officer was not an expert. The officer testified that he examined the footprints on the door and he also examined the soles of Johnson's shoes. The officer testified that the shoe was a workboot, the type a construction worker might wear. He also testified that the marks on the door were the same configuration as that of the defendant's shoe sole. On cross-examination the officer stated that he took no measurements and could remember the configuration of the soles, but that it would be difficult to describe.

Indiana has permitted the introduction of the existence of footprintsapart[177 Ind.App. 505] from comparison. Foreman v. State (1938), 214 Ind. 79, 14 N.E.2d 546. Evidence of the character of...

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15 practice notes
  • Fox v. State, No. 2-376A109
    • United States
    • January 30, 1979
    ...had committed a break-in in a store in Van Buren at around the same time the arson was being committed. 13 See, Johnson v. State, 380 N.E.2d 566 Ind.App. (1978) as to the admissibility of footprint comparisons on the issue of 14 Accord, Bond v. State, supra. In Bond, the appellant was with ......
  • Weinstock v. Ott, No. 3-581A122
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 9, 1983
    ...determine if enough evidence had been admitted to support the facts which the hypothetical assumed. Cf. Johnson v. State (1978), 177 Ind.App. 501, 380 N.E.2d 566, 569; Johnson v. State (1973), 157 Ind.App. 372, 378, 300 N.E.2d 369, Dr. Weinstock next asserts that the trial judge erred in co......
  • Brown v. State, 81962
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • June 23, 2022
    ...expert testimony is not required and the comparison may properly be made a subject of non-expert testimony" (quoting Johnson v. State, 380 N.E.2d 566, 569 (Ind.Ct.App. 1978))); Castellon v. State, 302 S.W.3d 568,572 (Tex. App. 2009) (concluding an analyst was qualified to compare shoe print......
  • Hutt v. State, No. 964
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1986
    ...State v. Jackson, 302 N.C. 101, 273 S.E.2d 666 (1981); D'Antignac v. State, 238 Ga. 437, 233 S.E.2d 206 (1977); Johnson v. State, 177 Ind.App. 501, 380 N.E.2d 566 (1978); State v. Drake, 298 S.W.2d 374 (Mo.1957); State v. Cullen, 591 S.W.2d 49 (Mo.App.1979); Irvin v. State, 66 So.2d 288 (Fl......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
15 cases
  • Fox v. State, No. 2-376A109
    • United States
    • January 30, 1979
    ...had committed a break-in in a store in Van Buren at around the same time the arson was being committed. 13 See, Johnson v. State, 380 N.E.2d 566 Ind.App. (1978) as to the admissibility of footprint comparisons on the issue of 14 Accord, Bond v. State, supra. In Bond, the appellant was with ......
  • Weinstock v. Ott, No. 3-581A122
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 9, 1983
    ...determine if enough evidence had been admitted to support the facts which the hypothetical assumed. Cf. Johnson v. State (1978), 177 Ind.App. 501, 380 N.E.2d 566, 569; Johnson v. State (1973), 157 Ind.App. 372, 378, 300 N.E.2d 369, Dr. Weinstock next asserts that the trial judge erred in co......
  • Brown v. State, 81962
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • June 23, 2022
    ...expert testimony is not required and the comparison may properly be made a subject of non-expert testimony" (quoting Johnson v. State, 380 N.E.2d 566, 569 (Ind.Ct.App. 1978))); Castellon v. State, 302 S.W.3d 568,572 (Tex. App. 2009) (concluding an analyst was qualified to compare shoe print......
  • Hutt v. State, No. 964
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1986
    ...State v. Jackson, 302 N.C. 101, 273 S.E.2d 666 (1981); D'Antignac v. State, 238 Ga. 437, 233 S.E.2d 206 (1977); Johnson v. State, 177 Ind.App. 501, 380 N.E.2d 566 (1978); State v. Drake, 298 S.W.2d 374 (Mo.1957); State v. Cullen, 591 S.W.2d 49 (Mo.App.1979); Irvin v. State, 66 So.2d 288 (Fl......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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