McAdams v. State, 7 Div. 693

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtLEIGH M. CLARK
Citation378 So.2d 1197
Docket Number7 Div. 693
Decision Date04 December 1979
PartiesGeorge Hughell McADAMS v. STATE.

Page 1197

378 So.2d 1197
George Hughell McADAMS
v.
STATE.
7 Div. 693.
Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.
Dec. 4, 1979.

Page 1198

Patrick H. Tate, Winfred M. Watson, Fort Payne, for appellant.

Charles A. Graddick, Atty. Gen. and Thomas R. Allison, Asst. Atty. Gen., for the State.

LEIGH M. CLARK, Retired Circuit Judge.

Appellant was indicted and tried for murder in the first degree of Virgil Satterfield. A jury found him guilty of murder in the second degree and fixed his punishment at twelve years imprisonment. He was sentenced accordingly.

According to the undisputed and unquestioned evidence, Virgil Satterfield was placed in jail at Ider, Alabama, at 3:30 P.M. 1 on the afternoon of December 5, 1978. No charges were placed against him; police officers had found that he was intoxicated and placed him in jail to sober up. He remained in jail until 8:00 P.M. December 5 when the defendant, with whom Mr. Satterfield had been working, came to the jail, and Satterfield was released in defendant's custody. The two remained there awhile visiting with the radio operator and then left for defendant's home in Cartersville

Page 1199

approximately five miles from Ider. The undisputed and unquestioned evidence also shows that before about 11:15 o'clock the same night Satterfield, who was called also by the first name of "Berthal," had been shot and killed and his body found in bed at the home of the defendant. He had been killed by shots from .410 gauge shotgun shells. There was strong undisputed expert testimony that they were fired from a .410 gauge shotgun owned by defendant.

Defendant was living alone at the time. He had been married to Carrie Ann Kelley, but they had been divorced in March 1978, and she was living at the time in the vicinity of Chickamauga, Georgia, a distance of some thirty to forty miles from the home of defendant. Mr. Milton Kelley, a grown son of Mrs. Kelley by her first marriage, lived in the vicinity of his mother.

Undisputed and unquestioned evidence further shows that about 11:15 P.M. defendant drove to his home in his truck and about five minutes thereafter he went to the home of his neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Cleve Blevins, who lived just across the road from defendant, informed them that someone had killed Virgil Satterfield, and asked them to return to his home and see. Before doing so they called law enforcement officers and neighbors who assembled at defendant's home and found Satterfield's body as hereinbefore stated.

No witness, other than defendant, testified that he heard or saw Satterfield during the period of approximately three hours between the time he left the Ider jail with defendant and the time he was seen dead in defendant's bed. Evidence as to what defendant did during that three-hour period was furnished largely by defendant, defendant's ex-wife Mrs. Kelley, Mrs. Kelley's son, Milton Kelley, and partly by Mr. and Mrs. Blevins.

Although not in the order of the evidence presented on the trial, we first summarize the testimony of defendant as to what happened during the three-hour period. He said that promptly after leaving the jail with Satterfield, they went to defendant's home where Satterfield requested and obtained a drink. Defendant said that he then went outside to do some work, that before he could return to his home he was approached from the rear and ordered to stand up against a building and drop some shells he had and a gun, the .410 gauge shotgun previously mentioned, which he did. He testified further that he only saw one person but heard two; one was masked and forced defendant into his truck and at gunpoint to drive him over the Georgia line toward LaFayette, Georgia. According to his testimony, another car approached from behind and blinked its lights, and he was ordered to stop. He then heard something, which later turned out to be his .410 gauge shotgun, being thrown into the rear of the truck, and he was told, "Keep your damn mouth shut or you'll go like your buddy." He was then left alone and proceeded to the nearby home of his ex-wife, who would not let him in her house. He told her that he was afraid that "Berthal" (Mr. Satterfield) might have been killed. She refused to let him use the telephone, but she called her son Milton who came over. He said he told Milton that he was afraid "a man had been killed." He left the premises when Mr. Kelley told him to "get the hell off the hill." Defendant denied that he killed Satterfield. He also claimed that he had drunk a lot of liquor, and his memory was not good as to all that had occurred.

Mrs. Kelley testified that when defendant came to her house he told her that he had killed a man, that "he shot Berthal over there in his bed." He also told her at the time that "I set the gun over the fence."

Milton Kelley testified that defendant told him that "he had killed a man," that defendant said nothing about anyone kidnapping him or abducting him.

Mr. and Mrs. Blevins testified when he came to their house he told them that someone had broken into his house and killed Berthal. She said:

"He (defendant) said, 'Get up and help him. I left Berthal over there to go to bed and had to go to town, and when I come back somebody had killed him on my bed in my house.' "

Page 1200

According to the testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Blevins, defendant said nothing to them that night about being kidnapped or abducted, nothing about any masked men.

There was testimony by law enforcement officers that about 3:15 A.M. the night of the death of Satterfield, defendant made a voluntary statement after he had been fully advised as to his rights that he and Satterfield came from the Ider jail to defendant's home, that defendant stayed there about thirty minutes then left Satterfield at defendant's home and went to his sister's house at East Ridge or Chattanooga. He said his sister was not at home and he returned to his residence, unlocked his gate and went into the house where he saw Satterfield's body when he turned on the light. He said he did not know where his .410 gauge shotgun was at the time. He also said he had not seen his ex-wife in several weeks. There was further testimony that at 11:00 A.M. after the killing, defendant notified one of the officers that he wanted to change his story. He then gave an account of what happened that night substantially in accordance with his testimony on the trial.

Appellant insists that the trial court erred in several instances in ruling that circumstantial evidence that might have tended to show that someone other than defendant killed Satterfield was not admissible. He relies largely on extracts from Gamble, McElroy's Alabama Evidence, § 48.01(1)(6)(7) (1977). In § 48.01(1) it is stated:

"It is held, secondly, that the accused can only introduce evidence of another's guilt when the state's case against the accused is a circumstantial one. There are judicial statements to the effect that, when a case is one of circumstantial evidence, testimony may permissibly take a wide range and, to rebut such evidence, the defendant has the right to introduce any legal evidence tending to show that someone else may have been guilty in exoneration of himself."

Laying aside any issue between the parties on appeal as to whether the evidence against defendant was entirely circumstantial, we now give consideration to the contention of appellant as to the several occasions that he argues constituted a refusal by the trial court to permit defendant to show that other persons had motive and opportunity to commit the crime.

One of the instances of which appellant complains is found during his cross-examination of Mrs. Blevins as follows:

"Q. And was Connie Rogers the man that Mr. Satterfield had shot about a year ago?

"A. Yes, sir. I don't know whether it was a year ago or not, but they said Satterfield killed Rogers.

"MR. IGOU: Judge, we object to that. He was found not guilty. He was acquitted of it....

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14 practice notes
  • Walker v. State, CR–11–0241.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • February 6, 2015
    ...as to what others believed is not admissible.” Magwood v. State, 494 So.2d 124, 141 (Ala.Crim.App.1985). See also McAdams v. State, 378 So.2d 1197 (Ala.Crim.App.1979) ; and Shadle v. State, 280 Ala. 379, 194 So.2d 538 (1967). “A witness may not testify to the uncommunicated intent or mental......
  • Coral v. State, CR-89-1117
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 27, 1992
    ...he lives for the purpose of showing that such other, and not the accused, committed the crime being prosecuted,' " McAdams v. State, 378 So.2d 1197 (Ala.Cr.App.1979) (quoting C. Gamble, McElroy's Alabama Evidence § 48.01(10) (3d ed. 1977)); and the motive of another to commit the crime for ......
  • Tarver v. State, 4 Div. 504
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • June 10, 1986
    ...other person, and not the defendant, committed the crime charged. Chesson v. State, 435 So.2d 177 (Ala.Crim.App.1983); McAdams v. State, 378 So.2d 1197 (Ala.Crim.App.1979); McElroy's, supra, § The fact that Richardson may have had a prior altercation with Parrish in no way relates to the ca......
  • Magwood v. State, 4 Div. 88
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • October 8, 1985
    ...of a witness as to what others believed is not admissible. Shadle v. State, 280 Ala. 379, 194 So.2d 538 (1967); McAdams v. State, 378 So.2d 1197 Since the question asked of the State's witness, Lynn, on cross-examination called for testimony as to the mental operations of another, that obje......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Walker v. State, CR–11–0241.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • February 6, 2015
    ...as to what others believed is not admissible.” Magwood v. State, 494 So.2d 124, 141 (Ala.Crim.App.1985). See also McAdams v. State, 378 So.2d 1197 (Ala.Crim.App.1979) ; and Shadle v. State, 280 Ala. 379, 194 So.2d 538 (1967). “A witness may not testify to the uncommunicated intent or mental......
  • Coral v. State, CR-89-1117
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 27, 1992
    ...he lives for the purpose of showing that such other, and not the accused, committed the crime being prosecuted,' " McAdams v. State, 378 So.2d 1197 (Ala.Cr.App.1979) (quoting C. Gamble, McElroy's Alabama Evidence § 48.01(10) (3d ed. 1977)); and the motive of another to commit the crime for ......
  • Tarver v. State, 4 Div. 504
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • June 10, 1986
    ...other person, and not the defendant, committed the crime charged. Chesson v. State, 435 So.2d 177 (Ala.Crim.App.1983); McAdams v. State, 378 So.2d 1197 (Ala.Crim.App.1979); McElroy's, supra, § The fact that Richardson may have had a prior altercation with Parrish in no way relates to the ca......
  • Magwood v. State, 4 Div. 88
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • October 8, 1985
    ...of a witness as to what others believed is not admissible. Shadle v. State, 280 Ala. 379, 194 So.2d 538 (1967); McAdams v. State, 378 So.2d 1197 Since the question asked of the State's witness, Lynn, on cross-examination called for testimony as to the mental operations of another, that obje......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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