Martinez v. People, 17298

Decision Date23 February 1954
Docket NumberNo. 17298,17298
Citation267 P.2d 654,129 Colo. 94
PartiesMARTINEZ et al. v. PEOPLE.
CourtColorado Supreme Court

Robert Sunshine, H. D. Reed, Denver, for plaintiffs in error.

Duke W. Dunbar, Atty. Gen., Frank A. Wachob, Deputy Atty. Gen., Norman H. Comstock, Asst. Atty. Gen., for defendant in error.

MOORE, Justice.

In this opinion we will refer to plaintiffs in error as defendnats or by name. An information comprising two counts was filed in the district court against them, in which it was charged that they committed the crime of burglary, and that they entered into a conspiracy to commit that offense. On arraignment they entered pleas of not guilty. Upon the trial, no witnesses were called on behalf of defendants. The court directed a verdict of not guilty upon the burglary count and submitted the case to the jury upon the conspiracy count. The jury returned a single verdict by which defendants were found guilty. Judgment was entered and sentence to the reformatory was imposed upon each defendant. Seeking a reversal of that judgment they bring the case to this court by writ of error.

The pertinent facts are as follows: At about fifteen minutes past midnight June 9, 1953, a police officer went to a liquor store at 2621 West Colfax avenue in Denver. He checked the rear of the building, where he was joined by another officer. They went around to the side of the building where they saw two persons. One of the persons, Ernest Martinez, was using a bar to break a hole through the brick wall into the liquor store, and the other, subsequently identified as Gilbert Martinez, was four or five feet distant from the one working on the wall and was facing toward the street, acting as a lookout. When the officers were discovered Gilbert ran, and although one of the officers gave chase he evaded capture by hiding in a creek; however in making his escape he cut his hand. He returned to his home later in the morning where he was arrested; his clothes were wet from his stay in the creek. The officers learned of his stay in the water and the cut hand from statements made by him following his arrest. Ernest was arrested on the spot. The hole which was being made through the wall was not completed when the unexpected appearance of the officers stopped the activity in which defendants were unquestionably engaged. In the presence of each other, following their arrest, defendants admitted that they planned to break into the store to get a 'couple of bottles' of liquor.

Five assignments of error are urged by defendants as grounds for reversal, as follows:

1. The prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence to establish the crime of conspiracy.

2. The court erred in admitting in evidence the confessions of defendants made in the presence of each other, 'without sufficient independent evidence to establish the corpus delicti of the crime of conspiracy.'

3. The court erred in refusing to give to the jury a separate form of verdict for each defendant.

4. The court erred in premitting the people to reopen the case after having rested, in order to offer evidence to prove that the confessions of defendants were voluntary.

5. The trial court erred in permitting detective Miller to testify, for the reason that all witnesses except him had been excluded from the courtroom, while he was permitted to remain at the counsel table as advisor to the District Attorney.

With reference to assignments 4 and 5 above stated, it is sufficient to say that, in the matters of which complaint is made, the trial court had discretion. It is very clear that no abuse of that discretion was established. Monchego v. People, 105 Colo. 486, 99 P.2d 193; Warren v. People, 121 Colo. 118, 213 P.2d 381.

Questions to be Determined.

First: Was there sufficient evidence introduced upon the trial to establish the 'corpus delicti' of the crime of conspiracy to that degree necessary before the confessions of the defendants could be received in evidence?

This question is answered in the affirmative. In effect, the argument of counsel for defendants is that, it is essential that the corpus delicti should be established fully and completely by evidence...

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13 cases
  • State v. Lucas
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • June 1, 1959
    ... ... 350, 63 S.Ct. 599, 87 L.Ed. 829 (1943); Martinez v. People, 129 Colo. 94, ... 267 P.2d 654 (Colo.Sup.Ct.1954); State v. Cardwell, 90 Kan. 606, ... ...
  • People v. Gonzales
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • August 6, 1974
    ...264 (1969); Owen v. People, 155 Colo. 19, 392 P.2d 163 (1964); Meredith v. People, 152 Colo. 69, 380 P.2d 227 (1963); Martinez v. People, 129 Colo. 94, 267 P.2d 654 (1954); and Downey v. People, 121 Colo. 307, 215 P.2d 892 GROVES, J., joins in Point II of this dissent. III. Jackson-Denno He......
  • State v. Paris
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • March 7, 1966
    ...delicti, provided it is sufficiently corroborated. See, e.g., People v. McMonigle, 1947, 29 Cal.2d 730, 177 P.2d 745; Martinez v. People, 1954, 129 Colo. 94, 267 P.2d 654; State v. Doucette, 1959, 147 Conn. 95, 157 A.2d 487; Nelson v. State, 1954, 11 Terry 96, 50 Del. 96, 123 A.2d 859; Stat......
  • Romero v. People
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • November 3, 1969
    ...of the trial court and, there being no showing of prejudice to the defendant, we cannot disturb the trial court's ruling. Martinez v. People, 129 Colo. 94, 267 P.2d 654; Porter v. People, 31 Colo. 508, 74 P. 879; Imperial Meat Co. v. United States, 316 F.2d 435, cert. denied 375 U.S. 820, 8......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • A Dui Primer
    • United States
    • Colorado Bar Association Colorado Lawyer No. 15-9, September 1986
    • Invalid date
    ...19. State v. Marchand, 706 P.2d 225 (Wash. 1985); Commonwealth v. Tarbert, 502 A.2d 221 (Pa.S.Ct. 1985). 20. See, Martinez v. People, 267 P.2d 654, 656 (Colo. 1954); Martin v. People, 499 P.2d 606, 608 (Colo. 1972); Applegate v. People, 509 P.2d 1238 (Colo. 1973). These cases often cite to ......

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