Maund v. State

Decision Date25 July 1978
Docket Number4 Div. 593
Citation361 So.2d 1144
PartiesRobert E. MAUND v. STATE.
CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals

George E. Trawick, Ariton, for appellant.

William J. Baxley, Atty. Gen., and Eugenia D. B. Hofammann, Asst. Atty. Gen. for the State, appellee.


First degree murder; sentence: life imprisonment.

On August 31, 1976, Nell Maund was the victim of a homicide. The homicide was effected by the use of a .20 gauge shotgun fired in the home of the deceased in the Chalkhead Community of Dale County. The deceased was the wife of appellant.

Appellant spent the morning of the homicide working on his farm. He drank two cans of beer that morning, and about noon he went into Ozark, Alabama, where he bought two pints of wine. On his way home, he stopped to help Junior Watson work on Watson's car. Watson needed a part for the car so appellant offered to drive Watson to pick up the part. On the way, appellant experienced chest pains and had to stop and let Watson drive. Watson drove appellant home. Appellant had consumed most of the wine while working on Watson's car and during the ride. Appellant's daughter, Mrs. Joiner, and her small child were at appellant's home along with appellant's wife when Watson and appellant arrived. Mrs. Joiner insisted that appellant go to bed, and he did. Mrs. Joiner and her child then left to take Watson to get his automobile part. Mrs. Joiner was gone just long enough to drive two and one-half miles, drop Watson off, and return.

Appellant testified that he dropped off to sleep and was awakened by his wife pulling him off the bed by the left foot. He hit the floor flat of his back, partially paralyzing him. He said his wife started kicking and stomping him and told him to get out and leave. He made it through the next door to the bathroom, tried to get up, fell back, looked around, and saw his wife standing on a trunk with a shotgun in her hand with the stock pointing toward him. He said she jabbed him in the stomach with the gun, that his mind then went blank, and he remembered nothing else. Appellant testified additionally that he never harmed his wife, and that it had to be an accident if she was shot.

Mrs. Joiner testified that when she arrived back at the house, appellant was sitting on the porch in his underwear and stated to her, "I just killed your mother." She testified that appellant followed her into the house and made the additional statements: "Well, she started in on me and I couldn't take anymore," and "Yes, I shot her." Appellant did not recall making those statements.

On rebuttal Mrs. Joiner testified that within six months of the death of her mother, appellant had stated to the deceased that "he was going to shoot her down just like a dog," "he was going to shoot her down like a rabbit," "he was going to bust her brains out," and that "he'd twist her arm back and he would hit her."

Michael Maund, eighteen-year-old son of appellant, testified on rebuttal that appellant told deceased, "I'm going to beat you down like a rabbit, I'm going to kill you like a dog" within six months of the death of his mother. He also testified that within one year of the death of his mother, "seems like he twisted her arms. Lots of times I've it was every two week thing, I mean. About every so often he'd be (sic) come in and hurt her somehow, twisted her arms ."

Appellant denied ever making any threats to deceased. He did admit to twisting his wife's arms when they had domestic difficulties.


Appellant argues that the judgment should be reversed because the trial judge refused to give certain requested written charges on self-defense and failed to orally charge the jury on the law of self-defense.

Appellant's requested written charges marked "e" and "f" are not endorsed "given" or "refused" by the trial judge, nor signed by the trial judge, as required by Title 7, § 273, Code of Ala.1940 (now § 12-16-13, Code of Ala.1975). Numerous other requested written charges of appellant are in compliance with Title 7, § 273.

Counsel for appellant does not argue in brief that the trial judge refused to endorse or sign the requested charges, nor was an exception taken. Because of failure to comply with Title 7, § 273, this court may not consider the charges on appeal even though the charges appear in the record. Watkins v. State, 50 Ala.App. 111, 277 So.2d 385, cert. denied, 291 Ala. 801,277 So.2d 389 (1973); Hill v. State, 48 Ala.App. 240, 263 So.2d 696 (1972); Barnwell v. Murrell, 108 Ala. 366, 18 So. 831 (1895).

Exceptions to the oral instruction of the court must be taken in the presence of the jury and before the jury retires so that the trial judge will have an opportunity to make any corrections. Thomas v. State, Ala.Cr.App., 352 So.2d 25; Owens v. State, 53 Ala.App. 553, 302 So.2d 240, cert. denied, 293 Ala. 769, 302 So.2d 243 (1974); Cox v. State, 280 Ala. 318, 193 So.2d 759 (1967). At the conclusion of the court's oral charge, defense counsel took no exception to the court's failure to charge on the law of self-defense. Except for an exception to an unrelated point of law, defense counsel announced that he was satisfied with the court's oral charge, therefore, there is nothing presented for this court to review in this regard. Cox, supra.


Appellant submits the trial court was in error to refuse the following requested written charge in support of self-defense.

"39. The jury may look to any evidence in the case tending to show that the deceased used abusive and threatening language or conduct toward defendant at or about the time of the alleged offense, and if the jury believes such words or acts were used, the jury may consider the same in justification, mitigation or extenuation of the offense."

Requested Charge No. 39 may have been refused by the trial court without error for any number of reasons. Predicating the charge partly upon the abusive language of the deceased in justification, mitigation or extenuation of murder is a misstatement of the law rendering the charge improper. In 1872 in Taylor v. State, 48 Ala. 180, our Supreme Court held that no words, however insulting, will excuse a homicide. Evidence of opprobrious words or abusive language may be considered in extenuation or justification on a charge of assault, assault and battery, or affray pursuant to Title 14, § 37, Code of Alabama 1940 (§ 13-1-51, Code of Ala.1975), but evidence of abusive language may not be considered an extenuation or justification of an offense of a higher grade. Taylor, supra; Metcalf v. State, 40 Ala.App. 25, 108 So.2d 435 (1958), cert. denied, 268 Ala. 533, 108 So.2d 446.


The appellant contends that it was error for the trial court to refuse the defendant the opportunity to testify as to whether he consented to the release of his interest in his estate to his children.

The appellant testified that he never threatened or harmed his wife. On rebuttal the State offered testimony of two of the appellant's children of similar threats they heard their father make against their mother and of his physical abuse of her within six months or a year of her death. On cross-examination the defense counsel elicited from the two rebuttal witnesses that Robert Steve Maund, another son of the appellant, obtained their father's power of attorney after his imprisonment and had exercised control over certain assets of their father, allegedly for the benefit of appellant's younger son, a minor at the time.

The defense counsel then sought to examine the appellant himself about these financial matters. The State objected on the ground that the defense was not seeking to offset or answer any evidence originally brought out by the State on rebuttal. The trial court sustained the objection on the ground that the financial matters were collateral issues brought out on cross-examination of the two State's witnesses, and the reason for allowing it on cross-examination was for the purpose of showing bias as far as the two witnesses were concerned.

As stated in Battles v. State, 44...

To continue reading

Request your trial
19 cases
  • Thompson v. State, 6 Div. 799
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 8, 1986
    ... ... Page 879 ... Crim.App.1982); Webb v. State, 455 So.2d 223 (Ala.Crim.App.1984). Such a determination by the trial court will not be reversed by this court unless the record reveals a clear abuse of discretion by the trial court. Coburn v. State, 424 So.2d 665 (Ala.Crim.App.1982); Maund v. State, 361 So.2d 1144 (Ala.Crim.App.1978); Turner v. State, 48 Ala.App. 754, 265 So.2d 885 (1972) ...         "The trial judge is vested with discretion in the conduct of a trial, and the appellate courts will not interfere unless there has been an abuse of discretion. The trial ... ...
  • Harris v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • June 12, 1992
    ..."Also see: State v. Neal, 350 Mo. 1002, 169 S.W.2d 686; Rosebud County v. Flinn, 109 Mont. 537, 98 P.2d 330." See also Maund v. State, 361 So.2d 1144 (Ala.Cr.App.1978) (wherein this court rejected the defendant's argument that it was error for a pretrial hearing on a motion to disclose the ......
  • Smith v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 25, 2000 rebut the evidence that the defense presented concerning the loving relationship between Smith and the victim. See Maund v. State, 361 So.2d 1144 (Ala.Crim. App.1978). Moreover, the threats were admissible as evidence of a "design in the accused to injure the victim." C. Gamble, McElroy'......
  • Wesley v. State, 1 Div. 932
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 26, 1985
    ...record reveals a clear abuse of discretion by the trial court. Turner v. State, 48 Ala.App. 754, 265 So.2d 885 (1972); Maund v. State, 361 So.2d 1144 (Ala.Crim.App.1978); Coburn v. State, 424 So.2d 665 (Ala.Crim.App.1982). A review of the record in this cause reveals that the trial court di......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT