Miller v. State

Decision Date21 April 1960
Docket NumberNo. 29816,29816
Citation166 N.E.2d 338,240 Ind. 398
PartiesWilliam MILLER, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Wayne L. Miller, Flanagan & McCain, Dan C. Flanagan, Robert S. McCain, Fort Wayne, for appellant.

Edwin K. Steers, Atty. Gen., Owen S. Boling, Asst. Atty. Gen., Paul H. Frazier, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee.


Appellant was charged by indictment with the crime of murder in the second degree, under Acts 1905, ch. 169, § 350, p. 584, being § 10-3404, Burns' 1956 Replacement, tried by the court without the intervention of a jury, found guilty as charged, and sentenced accordingly.

The sole error assigned is the overruling of appellant's motion for a new trial.

The determinative question here presented is: Did the trial court err in refusing to consider or permit the introduction of evidence pertaining to the reputation of deceased for 'peace and quiet,' when appellant's defense was that he shot the deceased in self-defense, as he came toward him (appellant) with an open knife in his (deceased's) hand.

The record discloses that appellant was employed as a bartender in a tavern. On the night of the shooting the deceased and his brother were causing considerable commotion and trouble in the tavern. They were ordered to leave by the 'bouncer' earlier in the evening but returned later and renewed their disturbance with increased fury. Appellant left the bar to assist in quieting the disturbance, saying to the deceased, 'Stop, man, let's try to get this stuff broke up in here.' Appellant then testified that the deceased 'said nothing' in reply to his statement, and 'just kept walking and that's when I pulled the gun and told him to drop the knife and he didn't do it. I went back as far as I could and I couldn't get through the people, I couldn't get over the booth, so I shot to try and hit the knife.' After appellant had told the deceased the second time to stop and he did not stop, deceased pulled his gun out of his pocket and said, 'Drop the knife, man,' and when the deceased refused to stop or drop the knife, appellant fired at the knife as deceased held it in his hand. The bullet went through the hand of deceased and entered his abdomen. Appellant's testimony was corroborated by other witnesses who were in the tavern at the time of the shooting.

It is the rule in this State that a defendant in a criminal action may, where the defense is self-defense and it is asserted that the person assaulted...

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6 cases
  • Chapman v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • October 11, 1984 evidence for the purpose of determining who was the aggressor." 221 Ind. at 698, 51 N.E.2d at 369 (quoted in Miller v. State, (1960) 240 Ind. 398, 400, 166 N.E.2d 338, 339 (prosecution for homicide). When evidence of the victim's violent character is offered for the purpose of showing th......
  • Phillips v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • March 7, 1990
    ...reputation evidence, not by evidence of specific bad acts. Norris v. State (1986), Ind., 498 N.E.2d 1203, 1205; Miller v. State (1960), 240 Ind. 398, 400, 166 N.E.2d 338, 339; Niemeyer v. McCarty (1943), 221 Ind. 688, 698, 51 N.E.2d 365, 369, partially overruled on other grounds, Ashton v. ......
  • Cammack v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • September 15, 1970 the argument section is entitled 'Authorities Relied Upon' and contains nine pages of quotations from two cases: Miller v. State (1960), 240 Ind. 398, 166 N.E.2d 338 and Heglin v. State (1957), 236 Ind. 350, 140 N.E.2d The appellant's brief in this case is identical in form to the brief ......
  • Hoskins v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • April 19, 1978
    ...may introduce evidence of his good reputation for peace and quiet and of the bad reputation of his adversary. See also Miller v. State, (1960) 240 Ind. 398, 166 N.E.2d 338. Addressing the precise issue in question here, the Court of Appeals in Nuss v. State, (1975) Ind.App., 328 N.E.2d 747,......
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