Mingle v. State, No. 2-1078-A-368

Docket NºNo. 2-1078-A-368
Citation182 Ind.App. 653, 396 N.E.2d 399
Case DateNovember 01, 1979
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 399

396 N.E.2d 399
182 Ind.App. 653
Leanette N. MINGLE, Appellant (Defendant Below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below).
No. 2-1078-A-368.
Court of Appeals of Indiana, Fourth District.
Nov. 1, 1979.

[182 Ind.App. 654]

Page 401

Thomas C. Douglas, Anderson, for appellant.

Theo. L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Joel Schiff, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

YOUNG, Judge.

Leanette Mingle appeals her conviction, after trial by jury, of cruelty to her infant son Keith, in violation of IC 1976, 35-14-1-4 (now repealed, Acts of 1976, P.L. 148, § 24), for which she was sentenced to an indeterminate term of one to five years.

Mingle's first four specifications of error relate to one issue, therefore we consider them together. The issue derives from Mingle's endeavor to limit the questions of fact to be decided by the jury to the sole question of Mingle's sanity at the time of the offense. In addition to serving judicial economy, this measure could obviate the

Page 402

need for what is usually necessary but frequently gruesome evidence.

Prior to commencement of the trial, Mingle filed a "Stipulation by Defendant" and a Motion in Limine. The stipulation was in essence [182 Ind.App. 655] that Mingle would only contest the issue of her sanity. The motion in limine endeavored to exclude evidence as to the nature and extent of her child's injuries. The State refused to agree to the stipulation. Mingle then argued that the motion entitled stipulation was in fact a change of plea. 1 She argued that she pleaded guilty to the offense but reserved the question of her sanity as excusing her from responsibility. The trial court did not accept this, and we believe properly so.

Several states have used a bifurcated trial procedure when a defendant enters a plea of insanity. The difficulties arising from such a procedure have resulted in a body of authority which we find helpful in determining this issue. People v. Wells, (1949) 33 Cal.2d 330, 202 P.2d 53, 65, analyzes California's Penal Code § 1026, which provided that where a defendant pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, the issue of insanity is tried separately either by the same or a new jury, in the discretion of the court. In that case, the appellant alleged error in the exclusion of evidence of insanity during the first trial. The court ruled that in the first trial the defendant may show any statutory incapability except insanity, since in the second trial "evidence other than such as is relevant and material to showing full legal insanity is not admissible . . .. Of course, evidence of the circumstances of the homicide can be admitted for what bearing it may have on the issue of sanity . . . but it is only in respect to its bearing on that one issue that it is pertinent." (citations omitted). This endeavor to separate the issues and evidence of guilt and sanity was held to constitute a denial of due process in State v. Shaw, (1970) 106 Ariz. 103, 471 P.2d 715. The reason is that it is impossible to consider separately the Mens rea element of a crime and the sanity of the defendant during the same period. The practise of excluding evidence of insanity during the first part of the bifurcated trial procedure while permitting other evidence that the Mens rea did not exist, has been compared to allowing poor eyesight as a defense but not blindness. See Louisell & Hazard, Insanity as a Defense: The Bifurcated Trial, 49 Cal.L.Rev. 805 (1961). By this reasoning[182 Ind.App. 656] it is impossible to both confess guilt and assert an insanity defense. Because no such plea exists, Mingle could limit the issues only by means of stipulations. Because the State did not agree to the stipulations, the trial court did not err in allowing trial of all the issues or in admitting evidence relevant to issues other than the sanity of Mingle. 2 See Klinedinst v. State, (1953) 159 Tex.Cr. 510, 265 S.W.2d 593, cert. den. 347 U.S. 930, 74 S.Ct. 534, 98 L.Ed. 1082.

Mingle's next contention of error is that the trial court erred in refusing to direct a verdict in her favor at the close of the State's case in chief. Because Mingle subsequently offered proof on her own behalf, any error with regard to the motion for directed verdict is waived. In any case, Mingle's argument ignores the testimony of two witnesses to whom Mingle admitted that she had abused her son. This is sufficient to avoid a directed verdict on the grounds argued by Mingle.

Mingle charges the trial court with error in admitting into evidence four photographs taken of Keith in the Emergency Room of Community Hospital. In addition to challenging

Page 403

their relevance, Mingle claims that they were admitted upon insufficient foundation, that they were repetitive of each other, and that the State exacerbated their inflaming quality by asking four different witnesses to identify them, thus repeatedly bringing them to the jury's attention.

Regarding the foundation for their admittance, Mingle argues that the officer who took the photographs did not know from firsthand knowledge that the child was Keith. There is much authority on the question of what foundation must be laid before a photograph may be admitted into evidence. Mingle cites none for our benefit. The error is waived under Ind. Rules of Procedure, Appellate Rule 8.3(A)(7). Murphy v. State, (1977) Ind., 369 N.E.2d 411; Williams v. State, (1973) 260 Ind. 543, 297 N.E.2d 805.

[182 Ind.App. 657] We have examined the photographs in question, and find that they are not in fact repetitive. The child's entire body was bruised and the bruises were of varying age. The first photograph depicted the front of the child. The second was of the top of his head, showing hair had been pulled out and a hematoma. The third photograph showed the upper back and shoulders, and the fourth, the back and legs. One photograph would have been inadequate to depict Keith's condition upon admittance to the hospital.

We find further that there was no error in permitting four witnesses to identify the photographs. The photographs served to illustrate the testimony of each, and the record discloses that in fact the photographs were shown to the jury only once, after all four witnesses had testified. We...

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10 practice notes
  • Briggs v. Clinton County Bank & Trust Co. of Frankfort, Ind., No. 2-581A150
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 9, 1983
    ...the Court stated that the claimant was a stranger to the estate and therefore was in no position to cause the privilege to be removed. 396 N.E.2d at 399. Briggs, as conservator, is a stranger with respect to the previous wills, and his claim is adverse to Smoker's successors. Thus the privi......
  • Sills v. State, No. 982S336
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 14, 1984
    ...of a crime and the sanity of the defendant are considered in the same, rather than a bifurcated, trial. Mingle v. State, (1979) Ind.App., 396 N.E.2d 399. There was no error in refusing to allow the motion to withdraw the not guilty We also hold that there was no error in refusing to grant d......
  • McMichael v. State, No. 4-684A148
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 6, 1984
    ...for his own professional investigation. In the absence of cumulation, there could be no prejudice. See Mingle v. State, (1979) Ind.App., 396 N.E.2d 399 (photographs of various portions of child's anatomy were not repetitive in trial for cruelty to Sufficiency of the Evidence McMichael next ......
  • Brooks v. State, No. 984S363
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 3, 1986
    ...three-quarters of the State's tendered instructions. Absent a showing of prejudice, no error will be found. Mingle v. State (1979), 182 Ind.App. 653, 658, 396 N.E.2d 399, Page 219 Appellant also argues that he was not allowed the opportunity to object to final instructions before the jury r......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Briggs v. Clinton County Bank & Trust Co. of Frankfort, Ind., No. 2-581A150
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 9, 1983
    ...the Court stated that the claimant was a stranger to the estate and therefore was in no position to cause the privilege to be removed. 396 N.E.2d at 399. Briggs, as conservator, is a stranger with respect to the previous wills, and his claim is adverse to Smoker's successors. Thus the privi......
  • Sills v. State, No. 982S336
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 14, 1984
    ...of a crime and the sanity of the defendant are considered in the same, rather than a bifurcated, trial. Mingle v. State, (1979) Ind.App., 396 N.E.2d 399. There was no error in refusing to allow the motion to withdraw the not guilty We also hold that there was no error in refusing to grant d......
  • McMichael v. State, No. 4-684A148
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 6, 1984
    ...for his own professional investigation. In the absence of cumulation, there could be no prejudice. See Mingle v. State, (1979) Ind.App., 396 N.E.2d 399 (photographs of various portions of child's anatomy were not repetitive in trial for cruelty to Sufficiency of the Evidence McMichael next ......
  • Brooks v. State, No. 984S363
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 3, 1986
    ...three-quarters of the State's tendered instructions. Absent a showing of prejudice, no error will be found. Mingle v. State (1979), 182 Ind.App. 653, 658, 396 N.E.2d 399, Page 219 Appellant also argues that he was not allowed the opportunity to object to final instructions before the jury r......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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